Tag Archives: Canning

Yippee it’s Burpee time!

Y’all know what time it is?  Yes, it’s still winter, but …… this is the time to start thinking about starting those seeds for planting this spring.  The hubs and I have started taking inventory of which seeds we need to replenish, making plans on what we are and aren’t going to grow this year, how and when we are going to plant, well, you know, all that good stuff.

This is what we bought last year.  We tried a few new items last year and quickly learned they do not do well in our soil.  So, we are marking off Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower and Broccoli.  We are also marking off Sweet Banana Peppers and replacing them with Pepperoncini and Jalapeno; they seem to sell better at the Farmers Market.

http://www.burpee.com

burpee

And here is a comprehensive, well maybe not comprehensive, but a list, of what we will be adding to our other list.  Notice some things have been marked out; that’s because we already have these seeds on hand so no need to buy more.

mylist

I would like to companion plant this year but the hubs thinks it’s too much trouble.  What do y’all think?  Should we?  If you think yes then please help me convince him by leaving a comment and I’ll make sure and read it to him!  Thanks Y’all.

Also, if you have any questions about seeds or gardening just ask.  We will be glad to answer your questions to the best of our knowledge.

Okay, now get out and get to planning and get ready for planting!

agarden

God Bless,

Dana


Tomatoes: From Frozen to Canned

 

Tomatoes: From Frozen to Canned- SouthernGalsCook.com

I have a confession to make.

I. Am. A procrastinator… There! I said it.

It’s a sad truth and one that I am always trying to overcome.

But I have to say that sometimes it’s not my procrastination that gets in the way of my “want to’s” or “need to’s”– sometimes it’s just life! And nothing makes me more sick than having to throw away tomatoes that went bad before I had the chance to do anything with them. It takes time to can them and there are times when it will be more than a week before I have enough time to can a bushel or two of tomatoes. What is a girl to do?!

Needless to say, when I found out that you could FREEZE whole tomatoes to can later, I was elated! I have done this many times and each time I’ve canned them, the tomatoes taste as fresh as they did the day I picked them.

All you have to do is to wash them and let them dry completely. When they are dry, seal a single layer of tomatoes in a gallon-sized freezer bag.

I did notice that a lot of the tomatoes split when they froze, but as long as you get to them before they are freezer burned, you’re in good shape.

This weekend, in anticipation of the garden coming in and needing to freeze more veggies, I decided to free up some freezer space by canning the last of my tomatoes.

Here is how I take my tomatoes from the freezer to canned. In this case I made our favorite salsa {this recipe can also be frozen or eaten the next day}:

I used-

10 cups pureed/hand crushed tomatoes {most people use Roma, but these were beefsteak tomatoes}

1 pouch Mrs. Wages Medium heat Salsa mix

1/2 cup Bragg’s Organic Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider

2 tbsp Granulated Garlic Powder

Tomatoes: From Freezer to Canned- SouthernGalsCook.com

 

Tomatoes: From Frozen to Canned- SouthernGalsCook.com

1. Take out your precious rubies and inspect them. Make sure they aren’t freezer burned.

Tomatoes: From Frozen to Canned- SouthernGalsCook.com

2. The coolest part– when you run the frozen tomato under hot water, THE SKIN SPLITS AND PEELS RIGHT OFF!! It’s so much fun to do AND it saves a lot of time!

Tomatoes: From Frozen to Canned- SouthernGalsCook.com

3. After you have gotten the skin off of the tomatoes, you have to let them thaw. You don’t have to let them thaw completely, but do let them thaw mostly. I set them out at 11:00 a.m. and they were ready to process at about 7:00 p.m.

Tomatoes: From Frozen to Canned- SouthernGalsCook.com

4. Once your tomatoes have mostly thawed, drain the water off of them, remove the stems and any unsightly spots. Now you are ready to puree and crush! Some of you may prefer diced. That’s fine. We like ours to be a little chunkier than what they serve in Mexican restaurants so a combo of pureed and hand crushed is perfect.

Tomatoes: From Frozen to Canned- SouthernGalsCook.com

5. In a large stock pot and over medium high heat, pour in your tomatoes…

Tomatoes: From Frozen to Canned- SouthernGalsCook.com

… and stir in 1/2 cup of 5% Acidity vinegar {I chose Bragg’s ACV but the recipe on the Mrs. Wages package calls for distilled white} and 1 pouch of Mrs. Wages Medium heat Salsa Mix and granulated garlic powder. Bring to a boil and then back the heat down to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes and then you are ready to can! Be sure to add a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice to each jar if you are canning. As mentioned above, you could also freeze this or put in an airtight container, refrigerate, and serve the next day.

Tomatoes: From Frozen to Canned- SouthernGalsCook.com

I got 2 quarts and almost a full pint from this batch. I didn’t have quite 10 cups of tomatoes– more like 9, but that’s okay. It still tastes great! You can add in some jalapeno if you want to.

A couple of side notes–

1- Since your tomatoes lose a lot of liquid in the thawing process, it makes for a thicker salsa. We love it!

2- mrswages_2267_10043009

We are not endorsed by Mrs. Wages, but I love the product. It’s all natural AND it doesn’t have cilantro in it. I do not like cilantro. You could add it if you wanted to. The ingredients are: DEHYDRATED VEGETABLES (ONION, GREEN BELL PEPPER, JALAPENO, CHILI PEPPERS, GARLIC), SALT, SPICES. It tastes so, so, so, good. We add a pint to our chili instead of diced tomatoes!

3. acv

We are not endorsed by Bragg’s, but again, this is a product that I love and believe in. Not only is it awesome in recipes, but the health benefits are incredible!

If you have any questions about this recipe, leave it in the comments section below or email us at SouthernGalsCook@yahoo.com

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Why We Cook From Scratch {Most of the Time}

Genesis 3

These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens,And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

 

We believe in Intelligent Design. We believe that our Heavenly Father created the world and everything in it in six literal days.

In those 6 days, God created everything that Man would need to survive: food, medicine, shelter, water, and He created them in a way that we would receive optimal benefits.

Why We Cook From Scratch {Most of the Time}- SouthernGalsCook.com

After the 1950s, we have seen an unnatural alteration in our food culture. Consumers wanted food to be easier, faster, cheaper, and more of it– so, the food industry ramped up their scientific approach for production to keep up with the demand.

Food has been broken down, dehydrated and ground up, fillers added to make it go farther, not-your-grandmas-preservatives were added to make it last longer, colors were added to make it prettier, pesticides are sprayed on it so corporations would have bigger harvests so they would make more money…more, more, more, MORE… Should I even start on what’s happened with our meat and dairy?! …UGH!

Now look at us. We are a generation of disease ridden, obese, malnourished people. {Myself included– but I’m working on that}

Coincidence? I think not.

Over the last few years, my idea of food has evolved. I see the need for Back-to-Basics-Living and am slowly working my household over to that. Not ‘hardcore’ back-to-basics. I’m not a purist’s purist, but I do try to limit the amount of processed foods that come into my home.

Why We Cook From Scratch {Most of the Time}- SouthernGalsCook.com

The Wheetshire Garden 2013

The first steps that I have taken are to cook from scratch and grow some of my family’s food {check out my 2014 garden here}.

Cooking from scratch it isn’t really a huge change, it just requires more meal prep and planning.

Now, before you start thinking that I am one of these haughty, granola crunching {mmm..granola}, tree hugging {not that there’s anything wrong with that}, out-of-touch-with-the-real-world people, I want you to know that I DO live in the real world and I know that sometimes the budget doesn’t allow for gray sea salt, gluten-free this, free range that, organic everything… and blah, blah, blah. I don’t get them all time. I can’t. That’s why I say ‘when possible’. Cut yourself {and me} some slack. We do the best we can, when we can. Most of the time, the best I can do is buy whole foods and staple items for “from scratch” cooking. I can’t always get organic, either. It’s Oh. Kay. I don’t always have time to make my own cream ‘o soup, so I get it from the store.

Why We Cook From Scratch {Most of the Time}- SouthernGalsCook.com

Wheetshire Tomatoes 2013

Did I mention that I am also a working mom? Yeah. I have a work schedule and a $50 to $60 a week grocery budget. How’s that for “in touch”? 😉 Cooking from scratch is possible in a working mom’s schedule– we just have to plan a little better.

For funzies, let’s look and compare sandwich bread– Factory made vs. Homemade.

Homemade bread has: flour, yeast, honey, water, extra virgin olive oil and salt. That’s a total of 6 ingredients.  

Why We Cook From Scratch {Most of the Time}- SouthernGalsCook.com

Homemade Sandwich Bread


Sunbeam Bread Ingredients:

Enriched Bleached Flour (Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Riboflavin [Vitamin B2], Folic Acid), Water, Wheat Gluten, Cellulose, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Yeast. Contains 2% Or Less of Each of The Following: Whole WheatFlour, Salt, Wheat Bran, Yeast Nutrients (Monocalcium Phosphate, Calcium Sulfate, Ammonium Sulfate), Dough Conditioners (May Contain One Or More of The Following: Mono- & Diglycerides, Ethoxylated Mono- & Diglycerides, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Ascorbic Acid, Azodicarbonamide, Enzymes), Corn Starch, Calcium Propionate (Preservative), Distilled Vinegar, Caramel Color, Soy Lecithin, Soy Flour. Contains Wheat and Soy.

**Um, dough conditioners? Caramel color? What the what?!

 

Now, let’s get real. Right now, there is a half eaten loaf of store-bought bread in my pantry. There is also a mostly eaten loaf of homemade sourdough bread on my counter.

I have homegrown organic vegetables in my freezer, as well as non-organic, non-free range chicken.

I have a box of raisin bran next to a jar of homemade granola.

You see where I am going with this? This is a gradual, do-the-best-you-can-with-what-you’ve-got process.

If we want to live a more natural, wholesome lifestyle, let’s take it one step at a time. Do the best you can with what you’ve got. Some improvement is better than none. I’ve heard this called “imperfect progress” and I feel good about it.

 

Shop Taste of Home

Matthew 13:16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.

Psalms 115:15 Ye are blessed of the LORD which made heaven and earth.

 AWESOME NEWS ……….

We at Southern Gals Cook are so EXCITED to announce that we are now affiliates with TASTE OF HOME magazine and you can shop TASTE OF HOME right from our site.

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So, get your fav bev in hand, sit back, relax and follow the link below to shop, shop, shop!

And the best part, you don’t have to worry about dropping, your already sitting down!

(that’s a knee slapper joke right there)

Love y’all.  Happy Shopping!

Shop Taste of Home. Cookbooks, gadgets, magazines and much more. Shop now.

 

Don’t forget to order your subscription to TASTE OF HOME magazine.

Lots and lots of wonderful ideas, recipes and more!

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Cookbooks galore, order yours today!

cookbookThanks and God Bless,

SGC

Feed Them For Life: Life Lessons From the Garden

Psalm 34:10-12 The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing. Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord. What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good?

We’ve all heard the old adage, “Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.”

This summer, that thought occurred to me as I worked in the garden with my children. We learned the true value of a good sweat.

I was able to remind them of the burden that was given to Adam after he had eaten of the forbidden fruit, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. Genesis 3:19″.

They had to learn to recognize the enemies of our food supply as well as our natural allies. We discussed God’s timing. Not only were my children picking squash, tomatoes, corn, and beans; they we were harvesting something greater than bodily nourishment. They We were harvesting knowledge.

The Wheetshire Garden

The Wheetshire Garden

Through the rows of peaches ‘n cream corn and above the okra shrubs, little voices merrily exclaimed, “Momma! I see a squash bug! I better squish it before it kills this plant”

“Momma! Look how big my pumpkins are getting! All that rain really helped.”

“I found a few lady bugs and put them in the tomato plants.”

That’s music to this momma’s ears.  I find myself smiling at this moment.

photo 3This post was meant to be about the importance of teaching our children gardening and self-sufficiency skills.  I had plans to use words like “GMOs”, “carcinogens”, and “Monsanto”.photo 1

I was going to toss philosophy around suggesting that we are God’s design and that everything we need to survive, He created in those first 6 days of creation.  All truths, however, the only things that I can think about are the carnal and spiritual lessons that God has shown me through this passion of mine. After all, isn’t the beginning of knowledge the fear of the Lord?

God’s timing? Do our provisions not come from He that feeds the sparrows and clothes the lilies, therefore we have no need to worry? Should we not trust in the Lord and lean not unto our own understanding? As the song says, “All I have needed thy hand hath provided…”

Teach a man to fish? Didn’t Jesus feed the multitude with just a few? My son leads our dinner prayer and ends it with “By HIS hands, we are fed…”

Recognize our enemies? Yes, there are those that try to decimate all that is good and they attack from all sides. They attempt to leach out our strengths and keep us from growing and bearing fruit. They try to take away our hope and block The Light.

Our allies? They are our brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus; our church families. They help us to attack and snuff out the Enemy. They combine their Lights from within to chase away the looming Darkness that shadows us while we are weak. We are strengthened and are able to take in nourishment to grow and mature.

I like this quote from George Bernard Shaw:

            The best place to find God is in a garden. You can dig for Him there.

Should we learn and teach our children how to garden? I think so. But it’s imperative to teach them to love and respect the One who created everything that grows in it, whether you garden or not.

~Tangi Wheet

photo 2
 
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