Tomatoes and cucumbers from the garden have become part of our kitchen decor.
DH brags about the power of his horse manure compost as if he invented it and got a nobel prize for the invention. “George Washington swore the secret to good farming was horse manure,” says DH.
“You just wait,” he said last summer, “George Washington knew his stuff, you’ll see.”
We added dried manure to our compost pile of grass clippings and shredded leaves last fall. This spring DH tilled it into our garden. Then we used more grass clippings and shredded leaves for mulch on top.
I was hoping the mulch would prevent unwanted plants from popping up, resulting in a no till, weedless garden. That didn’t happen. We had weeds. But, DH was so right about horse manure producing garden miracles. Our one cucumber plant has produced 60 cucumbers…so far.
Our onions shortly before they were pulled up and cured.
The first watermelons we found. There are at least 15 on that plant now.
An 11 pound zuchini that came from a volunteer plant on our compost pile. We didn’t find it until it had grown to this size.
A basket full of Yukon Gold potatoes. I had no idea potatoes could be so good.
Browning the meatballs and simmering the tomato basil sauce.
Dinner tonight featured home grown tomatoes and basil.
Soak in milk, water or stock;
1 slice of bread, 1 inch thick
Add eggs to:
1 1/2 lb. ground meat/I used ribeye
Saute until golden brown:
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
Add to the meat. Wring the liquid from the bread. Add the bread to the meat and then add:
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/2 chopped clove garlic
3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. oregano/I’ve used Italian Herbs
Mix and form into balls. Brown lightly in:
2 tablespoons butter
Cover your frying pan and simmer on low until the meatballs for 1/2 or until the meatballs are firm and no longer pink in the middle.
Cooking down the sauce.
SPAGHETTI SAUCE WITH FRESH TOMATOES AND BASIL
6 peeled, seeded and cut up tomatoes
2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
garlic, minced to taste or pinch of garlic powder
1 tablespoon white sugar
2 tablespoons fresh basil (more or less to taste)
In a large skillet or saucepan combine the tomatoes, tomato
sauce, garlic, sugar and basil. (Other herbs may be added. I really like basil and prefer just that with tomatoes.) Stir all together and simmer over low heat until thickened. More sugar and a tablespoon of butter may be added if the sauce is too acidic. Flour (1 to 2 tablespoons) may be added if you prefer a thicker sauce. Stir frequently to prevent burning.
Homemade spaghetti sauce with fresh tomatoes and basil over meatballs & spaghetti. It was sooooooo good!
HOW TO PEEL TOMATOES
Put the tomatoes, a few at a time in a large pot of boiling water for no more than 1 minute (30 – 45 seconds is usually enough)
Plunge them into a waiting bowl of ice water.
This makes the skins slide right off of the tomatoes! If you leave the skins in, they become tough and chewy in the sauce…not very pleasant.
After you have peeled the skins off the tomatoes, cut the tomatoes in half.
Now you need to remove the seeds and excess water. Wash your hands then squeeze each tomato and use your finger or a spoon to scoop and shake out most of the seeds. You don’t need to get fanatical about it; removing just most will do.
Toss the squeezed tomatoes into a colander or drainer, while you work on others. This helps more of the water to drain off. You’ll end up with a thicker spaghetti sauce in less cooking time!