are better than one, sometimes one is enough. Hubby and I have a standing joke as senior moments set in and between us we remember a word, event, or help with a thought lost in the telling. When we were newly in our relationship, he claimed I had no sense of humor as I would just roll my eyes at his jokes. I couldn’t then and still can’t remember punch lines of jokes to retell them. Over the years, I have gotten better at infusing an occasional one liner into a conversation. He is the intellect, I am the practical sense one.
As I have been processing tomatoes into various sauces, if there aren’t enough at one time, they often are frozen. When taken out of the freezer and plopped into a sink of water, the skins come right off and they can be chopped on a block and dumped into the pot. If they are fresh off the vine or the window sill, they are cored, scored with an X on the blossom end and boiling water is poured over them. When they are cool enough to handle, the skins come right off, but to chop them loses a lot of juice that I don’t want to lose. I have tried dicing them in the palm of my hand over the pot, but that isn’t ideal either. This morning, I had an Ah-Ha moment. I poured the water off the pot of tomatoes and as I peeled them, I dropped them back in the pot whole or in half if they were large. Tucked between the stove and the countertop is a metal bench scraper I use to scoop diced veggies into a pan, scrap dough that sticks to the board, even cut blocks of cheese. It is a versatile, regularly used tool. Since the stock pot is flat on the bottom as they have to be for my smooth top stove, the bench scraper made a perfect in the pot tomato dicer.
Diced as fine as I want, no juice lost, perfect solution. I wonder why I didn’t think of it sooner.
The tomatoes from the window sill and the ones harvested this morning put 5 more pints of pasta sauce on the pantry shelf. The jalapenos picked this morning were diced and frozen in a silicone bag for chili and casseroles, the last of the cucumbers are fermenting, and enough green beans from planting number two which is reaching it’s end to serve with dinner tonight. Planting 3 is full of blooms, so beans will continue for a few more weeks.
Not as much on the shelves as last year, but more to can and they are beginning to look like something has been done. If I had canned all the pickles instead of quick brine and ferment, both of those shelves would be full of just pickles. Instead, an entire shelf of the refrigerator is full of pickles too. Most of those will go to Son 1’s family and we will eat the refrigerated ones for months.
I began some more clean up of the garden this morning, but after two cool mostly wet days, it got too hot, too humid, too fast this morning. The asparagus tops are fading, so I am going to cut them back and hope it helps the remaining tomatoes to ripen. The cucumber vines are going to be pulled and chopped and probably the second planting bean plants as well. All of that vegetable matter will be added to the compost pile for next spring’s compost and I need to get a quick sprouting green cover in several of the beds to overwinter them. The peas are several inches tall and I still haven’t strung trellis line on the poles I set when I planted them. We are looking forward to having more fresh peas and more to freeze.
The new battery operated line trimmer was a very good purchase. I got all the way around the house, gardens, coop, and vineyard on half a charge. I still need to do the well head, the culverts, and the lower yard hydrant, maybe when it cools off later this afternoon.
There is still plenty to do in the gardens and yard. After trimming, I realized how weedy the day lily bed had gotten, so a few minutes were spent pulling the smart weed, grass, lambs quarters, and a pig weed from the bed, all tossed to the chickens with the tomato skins and cucumber and bean ends. The yard needs to be mowed again, but I need a cooler day to tackle that job.
I’m off to pick my few apples in hopes of a batch of applesauce to add to the remaining couple of jars from last year.
Stay safe everyone.