Posts Tagged With: tomatos

Chili Sauce from the Garden

Sauce with tomato peppers onions and spices 

  The weather in West Virginia this fall and early winter has been a soggy mess.  So to keep the family warm and fed until the cold of  winter freezes up the mud and turns the world to a lovely white. I have been cooking comfort food in the rain. Home made Chili is a easy quick dinner when you make and can the sauce at the peak of tomato season. 

 Chili sauce from the garden is a family favorite. We have been making this sauce for generations and it can be made fresh from the garden or canned and stored for the long winter. We usually use ground venison as the meat adding a mixture of kidney beans to the sauce when ready to serve.

 If you raise tomatoes and sweet bell peppers you can make home made chili sauce with just a little effort. This recipe usually makes 7 to 8 quarts of sauce but you can easily cut the recipe down or double it for a larger family. Each quart of sauce added to one pound of ground meat and two cans of beans makes around 6 to 7 servings of Chili. 

For this recipe you need 25 pounds of ripe tomatoes. I usually have about half that ripe at one time in the garden and end up adding some to mine from the farmers market. You can also buy a half bushel of tomatoes at once and make one turn of sauce. 

IMG_20180825_092840864

cored tomatoes ready for boiling water bath.

The first step is to wash, core and scald all 25 pounds of tomatoes. I do the best I can coring the tomatoes and leave them whole to scald to remove their skin. The more ripe the tomato the faster and easier it is to remove the skin. I boil about a gallon of water in a large stock pot adding tomatoes until they reach the top of the pot. Boil the tomatoes 3 minutes until skins come lose. Dump hot tomatoes into a cold water bath in a sink and allow to cool. I add a couple of trays of ice to the bath. Refill the cold water bath as it gets warm after adding 5 or 6 pounds of tomatoes at a time.  The skins will pull lose easily leaving a nice pealed tomato for chopping.  

Next dice up tomatoes with a ruff chop and place in large stock pot to begin to cook down. At this point you will have enough juice to cook the tomatoes with out scorching if you use a Med/High heat.

 Next add onion, peppers, garlic, sugar, spices and allowed to cook until everything is soft. Simmering the sauce for about 30 minutes. At this point add tomato paste, 2 cans will help to reduced the amount of water in the sauce. The sauce could be canned at this point if you like a chunky sauce or  I put ours through a food mill to remove any seeds, skins and lumps.

(I make small packets of spices to drop in the simmering sauce to make it easier to remove the large seeds and leaves.)

 After pressing the sauce through a food mill,  heat sauce to boiling and ladle into clean prepared quart jars. I always wash and sterilized at least 9 jars just in case I end up with more then 7 quarts of sauce. Add clean sterilized lids and rings and process in a boiling water bath 20 minutes. No pressure needed with high acid foods like tomato sauce( 20 minutes for quarts and 15 minutes for pints). Each jar will last at least one year after being canned. I rarely make less than 14 quarts at a time.

 

Garden Chili Sauce 

1/2 bushel ripe tomatoes or 25 pounds

1 cup chopped fine hot peppers we use a med hot pepper. 

1 cup chopped sweet peppers

1 cup red onion

2 heads of garlic chopped fine this equals about 10 cloves

1/4 to 1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons salt 

1 teaspoon black pepper

1  2.0 oz  can ground chili powder, more or less to taste

2 small cans tomato paste

1 tablespoon pickling spices, placed in a cheese cloth,

We use Mrs Woods Mixed Pickling Spices but if you do not have Pickling spice, mustard seed, Bay leaves, whole allspice, cinnamon and coriander seeds can be used.  

When ready to use add one pound cooked ground meat and two cans of kidney beans simmer and serve. 

for more information on canning in a boiling water bath please refer to the Ball Jar Website. 

 

Categories: canning, country cooking, gardening, peppers, Preserving, regional food, Venison | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Summer Container Gardens and Sewer Lines

     This spring Christopher and I decided that we would limit our garden planting this year to several small containers and a small garden spots. The problem is, at some point we are getting city sewer lines installed in our back yard and tied into our house. Tom and I are actually over joyed to have the sewer as we have lived about twenty years with three different septic systems, none of them modern ( aeration systems)  at three different locations. Some of them worked properly and some didn’t. The one we have now is around 80 years old… don’t ask… I am not sure how it works…. it just does.

new sewer pipe long our back yard

new sewer pipe along our back yard

      From those small garden spots I was able to really enjoy summer and just picked our last soft ball size tomato for dinner last night. We planned on planting items that would grow well in containers and learned a lot along the way.

I started my plans with a recycled container and about 150 lbs of soil and peat moss

I started my plans with a recycled container and about 150 lbs of soil and peat moss

small container and bird bath garden...tomatos, rubbarb, peppers, carrots and beets

small containers and bird bath garden with tomatoes, rhubarb, peppers, carrots and beets

    Things started of wonderful, the recycled container above  worked wonderfully and the location set up against our house with about 9 hours of sun was just perfect for the climbing beans, sunflowers and squash we planted in the tub.This will get used again next year and maybe full of green beans again. We had green beans for dinner at least three times and froze a few, all off of 6 bean seeds. The Kentucky Runners were well worth growing. The beans did eventually take over the porch hand rail that was at least ten feet high… they liked this location!

beans sunflowers and squash next to our rain barrel

beans sunflowers and squash next to our rain barrel

      The sun flowers bloomed but would have done better with more sun so they will get moved back into the tomato garden next year and as you can see the acorn squash was fine here but I only got two squashes. I may need to put summer squash here and the winter squash in a garden next year.

Tomato plants taking over my bird bath. rubbarb growing in back

Tomato plants taking over my bird bath. rhubarb growing in back

  As you can see the three tomato plants that I planted around my bird bath did very well and the rhubarb is trying to hold its own around the back of the plants. I planted some tomatoes here last year and added some wood shaving with rabbit droppings to the soil and as mulch this year. They seemed to love it. My only problems were the deer who came twice and eat the blooms off the tomatoes. I am positive that I caused  the problem by my love of feeding the birds. I learned a hard lesson…. if you do not want deer to eat your plants don’t put your bird feeder in the garden full of corn and seeds. The frist morning I found my destroyed plants I was upset but not sure why they had come so close to the road. The second time, I could have kicked myself in the rear-end for ever thinking that my bird feeders looked so nice in this small garden and removed them ASAP.

   As for the two containers that I planted  beets and carrots in, well the deer eat all of the beet tops twice. The carrots on the other hand did so-so. I had watched a video on container carrots on You Tube and though it worth a try. I think the gentlemen used a 70/30 mix of peat moss to soil and I think here in West Virginia where we get lots of rain the mix  is correct at 50/50 because the carrots just didn’t grow as deep and strong as I had hoped.  Will try again next year!

I also planted basil and cucumbers neither of them did well in the location on the far side of the porch. I will try to move those containers next year. I hope to find something to put in that location but the plant must grow with less than 8 hours of sun. 

Christophers frist harvest of the garden this year

Christopher’s frist harvest of the garden this year

    Christopher and I are rather happy with our experiment we learned a lot and we got to eat lots of fun food that he got to plant and harvest. Today will begin the process of cleaning up our tomato stakes and bean poles. I brought the only two carnival colored acron squashes into the house to cook over the weekend. I may get a few more cherry tomatoes before the frost comes. The only surprise is not really even a vegetable but a flower that I planted on a whim. Tom had made me a small raised bed for more vegetables but the season had gotten late and I had no idea what to plant in the box so I took some free seeds that came in the mail out to the new bed. This is what we got in a couple of months time.

Cosmos in bloom.. about 5 feet high and still blooming

Cosmos in bloom.. about 5 feet high and still blooming

singel cosmos bloom

single cosmos bloom

 Christopher loves them and I am sure to find more of these seeds next year. Even my older son commented on them and wants to try to plant them for my grand-daughter.

 So another summer is about gone and all I have left are hopes of having the sewer in over the next couple of months and a chance to have a bigger garden next year. After we are able to finally know that when we flush everything is headed to the correct location for treatment and no surprises are left behind.

Carnvil squash  on the vine

Carnival squash on the vine

Categories: container garden, gardening, organic food | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

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