My garden this year was so bad. Between my lack luster attempts at watering, the chickens helping themselves to whatever they wanted and tomato plants that grew huge and never produced fruit, we gave up and planted some sod. I felt so defeated but my spirits were lifted today when we spent the morning at the Miller Family Farm. Thanks to them I can pretend my garden was a success.
This place is great! For $10 we got to pick 6 bags of vegetables. They had beets, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, chilies, carrots, cabbage, pumpkins, eggplants, and beans. The kids did great even in the heat. I spent all afternoon and evening prepping and trying out new recipes.
|Tomato Jam and Pumpkin Butter|
1 (28-oz.) can pumpkin puree - I used pie pumpkins and made my own. Pretty easy and three small pumpkins made enough puree that I could double the recipe.
3/4 cup apple juice
2 teaspoons ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon mace - didn't have but I did add some allspice cause that sounded like it would go with pumpkin
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1) Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring often, for 30 minutes, or until mixture thickens. I cook mine until a spoon pulled through middle of mixture leaves a trail that does not close in upon itself. If you plan to use immediately, let cool to room temperature. Pack into storage containers and refrigerate for up to a month. Pumpkin butter can also be frozen for up to 6 months. Yield: 3 cups.
The next thing I made was Tomato Jam which I found on Food In Jars. I know it sounds odd but it turned out pretty wonderful. Not something to eat with peanut butter but it would be good on a sandwich or some cheese. Next time I make it I will leave out the cloves and add more red pepper flakes.
Tomato Jam Recipe
makes 4 1/2 to 5 pints
5 pounds tomatoes, finely chopped
3 1/2 cups sugar
8 tablespoons lime juice
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon red chili flakes
Combine all ingredients in a large, non-reactive pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce temperature to a simmer. Stirring regularly, simmer the jam until it reduces to a sticky, jammy mess. This will take between 1 and 1 1/2 hours, depending on how high you keep your heat.
You can can this or freeze. I opted for the freeze method because I was tired.
I still have tomatoes in the oven drying out but I need some sleep and think I will set my oven to turn off in two hours.