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Tomatoes Wintered Over

I pulled all my green tomatoes in Mid October right before it frosted real hard. I put them in a box wrapped in newspaper and put them in the basement. I have done this for several years now and this method works pretty good for preserving and saving the green tomatoes for use later.

This photo is of a few of my tomatoes that I am still pulling out of the box this week for use. Some are a bit wrinkled but they sure taste much better than those store-bought plastic tasting tomatoes that you get at the store this time of year.

A few tips if you try this wintering over idea. Check the tomatoes frequently to remove any overripe or spoiling tomatoes from your storage box or bag. I normally just cut off the bad part if any and use the remaining tomato in making sauces or condiments. Also make sure you keep the box or bag in a cool, dry and dark basement or area for storage. I found this works best. This year I used long, low boxes which I found worked out very well for the tomatoes to be stored. If you stack tomatoes on top of each other they tend to spoil faster in my opinion. Use newspaper to wrap them separately as this helps extend the wintering over process.

It truly is enjoyable to eat my own fresh tomatoes in January from last year’s garden. I plan to expand on this wintered over tomato idea again this year.

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Roasted Tomatoes

I had many green tomatoes still when it was time to pull up the tomatoes plants for the season. Just like last year, I saved all the green tomatoes and wrapped them in newspaper for ripening. You can read about those tips here. This idea works well and given a little time, the green tomatoes turn red while stored in a bag.

But on with this post and how I roasted some tomatoes that were ripe and needing processed. I have frozen tomatoes, made salsa and tomato sauce and used many of my tomatoes already this year. But I hadn’t tried roasting in the oven yet.

First I washed and cut up the tomatoes in about quarters. I placed them on a baking sheet that had just a bit of olive oil spread over it. I sprinkled the tomatoes with a dash of garlic, salt, pepper, and oregano. You can use any spices that you like to season your roasted tomatoes. I dribble a little more olive oil over the tomatoes and tossed them a bit to cover them with all the seasoning and oil.

Here is my pan ready for the oven.
Roasted Tomatoes Ready for the Oven

Bake at 400 F degrees for about 30-40 minutes. Just check them at 30 to make sure them aren’t burning or overdone. I think mine took Continue Reading →

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Homemade Tomato Sauce

I had a huge garden of tomato plants this last year. So I ended up with lots of tomatoes and wanted to make my own homemade tomato sauce with this abundance of tomatoes.

Tomatoes in Pot for Tomato Sauce

I first cut up the tomatoes and placed them in a large pot for cooking. I generally followed a vintage tomato sauce recipe where I cut up the tomatoes and let them stand a few minutes in a colander to drain off some of the excess juice. I added a bit of dehydrated green peppers and onions (one tablespoon each), and a sprinkle of cayenne powder for a bit of zing to my pot.

Tomato Sauce Start with Spices

Next, bring to boil and cook for about an hour on low. Remember to stir occasionally until you have a nice pulp. I then used my food mill to make a smooth tomato puree.

Tomatoes in Food Mill

I ended up with this lovely pot of tomato puree ready for the next step. Continue Reading →

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Indoor Basil Grown in a Pot

Just wanted to give an update on my basil grown indoors in a pot. Here is the last photo I took.

Basil Grown Indoors

I posted last month about my homegrown basil and how I had dried the spice for later use. It has been so nice to have homegrown basil that I can use fresh all year-around. There is nothing like fresh basil spice when you are making spaghetti, lasagna or pizza sauce. You just can’t beat the flavor and taste of fresh basil in these recipes.

Anyway I just wanted to post an update and share my basil plant that continues to grow in a pot in my kitchen window. Just remember to put your basil pot in a sunny, warm spot Continue Reading →

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Cast Iron Bread Rolls from Home Storage

Here are bread rolls that I made from my home food storage. These rolls were made using Augason Farms Honey White Bread and Roll Mix. I have been working to test a few of my home storage items just to make sure I like the products and to practice their use.

Augason Baked Bread Rolls

Augason Farms Bread & Roll Mix

I made my batch small so I could bake it in my favorite little cast iron #3 skillet. I used about half of the “small recipe” on the back of the can. I started with 1 cup of bread mix and added just a bit to make a soft dough ball.

Here are my four rolls I placed in my 8 inch cast iron skillet after mixing up the batch of dough.

Cast Iron Skillet Rolls before Baking

Below are my rolls after letting them rise for about 45 minutes in the oven with the oven light on. I found that if I put my yeast dough in the oven to rise, it works out very well. Continue Reading →

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Cast Iron Baked Irish Soda Bread

There has been a shortage in some stores of yeast. Several people have been posting that they can’t find yeast in their local stores due to the Coronavirus. One such poster shared her favorite recipe for Irish soda bread which does not require yeast. The recipe calls for baking soda for the leavening in the bread rather than regular yeast.

I heard good reviews on this bread and set out to bake some myself. Of course, I love to bake in my little 6 inch cast iron skillet so I modified the recipe to fit into my original No. 3 cast iron pan.

Irish Soda Bread Baked in Cast Iron

I baked my Irish soda bread using the recipe from Gemma’s Bigger Bolder Baking site. To achieve the right amount of bread to bake in my cast iron pan, I cut the recipe in half. I also found that I didn’t need as much milk as called for so do be careful not to add too much milk as you make your dough ball.

Irish soda bread before baking.
Irish Soda Bread before baking

The Irish soda bread rose very nicely and I baked it the initial 15 minutes at 425 F degrees and then about 18-19 minutes at 400 F. Halfing the recipe provided for just the right amount of bread for two generous servings for my husband and I. I served my Irish soda bread along with a bowl of homemade stew. The heavier Irish soda bread went well with our stew meal.

Overall I love the idea of using alternate yeast sources especially during these times of shortages that we are facing. Another alternate to regular bread yeast is wild sourdough yeast. Here is my wild sourdough starter directions. Anyone can make wild sourdough yeast at home. It is made by capturing wild yeast from the air and creating a natural sourdough yeast starter.

Check out my posts on these recipes and other useful ideas Continue Reading →

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