Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Busy Time of Year

I haven't updated this blog for awhile, so I thought I had better let you all know what I've been up to lately. Fall is always a busy time of year here. I am a soccer Mom and my husband also coaches and plays in an adult league. So, there is soccer usually 5 or 6 days a week here. We are huge Pittsburgh Steeler's fans, but the soccer matches usually disrupt our being able to watch the game most Sundays. (That and the fact that our cable favors the Browns......who knows why!)

I have been canning a lot of tomatoes. Our garden always does well and back-to-school usually means a lot of canning for me. We enjoy spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce, and tomato soup. Here's a great recipe for tomato soup:
Cut up approximately 12 quarts of tomatoes, you can leave the core, just cut out bad spots and stems. (I usually use my large stockpot that has quart markings on the side.) Add 2 large onions, skinned and roughly chopped, 2 large green peppers, cored and chopped, 3 cloves of garlic, crushed, and 2 or 3 stalks of celery, chopped. Bring this to a simmer, being careful not to let it scorch on the bottom of the pan. Cook until the celery and peppers are soft. Process the mixture in a food mill or tomato strainer (mine is a Villa Ware vegetable and fruit strainer). I usually put my spices in a piece of cheesecloth tied with string so I don't have to strain them out later. I use about 4 whole cloves, 2 or 3 bay leaves, and 3 or 4 whole peppercorns. Cook down in a heavy-bottom stockpot for a few hours or so, stirring often, just to reduce some of the water. Remove about 1 cup of the juice to cool. Add approximately 1/4 cup of salt, to taste. Mix together 1 1/2 sticks of butter and 1 cup flour, rub it together with your fingers. Add approximately 1/2 cup of brown sugar and mix well. Add the cooled tomato juice and mix well. Whisk this mixture into the hot soup and stir. Cook for awhile, stirring to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom. Taste it and see if it needs more sugar or salt. My daughter likes a sweet soup. If it doesn't taste like canned, or better, then she won't eat it. A general rule of thumb for this is, if it's too salty add a little sugar and vice versa. This can be altered to your tastes. The exact amount and type of tomatoes can alter the taste as well. Most of my tomatoes are Romas.

So, canning and soccer seasons have left little time for my crafts and creativity. I have started a new scarf from my own pattern. I am also writing the pattern in pdf form to copyright and sell the pattern. I'll let you know how that turns out. I have some holiday designs I need to write down as well. In the meantime, "Root, root, root for the home team!" ... and take your yarn with you!


Bonny said...

Busy, busy, busy - it is that time of year. Your tomato soup sounds yummy - thanks for sharing the recipe!

marsha said...'ve been busy!!! tomato picking sounds FUN, not to mention yummy! :)

MaryLu said...

My tomato soup recipe sounds exactly the same. How cool is that? Mine has white sugar not brown. Do you know the source for yours? Mine is from a very old Kerr canning book that belongs to a friend. See my blog for the exact recipe here.