Thursday, September 25, 2014

Tomato Soup Canning Recipe

There's no doubt about it, it has been an incredible year for the garden.  I have literally canned so much that I ran out of jars twice and had to clean out  cabinets to make room for all my canned goods.  It will be quite the reward this winter when we are eating from our stocked pantry.

Last year I received a recipe from one of our 4-H Grandma's for Tomato Soup that is pressure canned.  This soup is delicious and perfect for eating with a grilled cheese sandwich on a cold Winter's (or Fall) day.

Tomato Soup

Ruby Hoop's Regal Tomato Soup Recipe

6 medium onions
1 bunch celery
8 quarts cut-up tomatoes
(I used about 24 pounds worth)
3/4 cup sugar
(I only used 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup salt
1 cup butter or margarine
(make sure it's at room temperature)
1 cup flour

Chop the onions and celery and put them into a large kettle with just enough water to start a good boil and prevent scorching. Add the tomato pieces (no need to peel off the skins) and cook the vegetables until they're tender. Then put them through a food mill to remove seeds and chunks, and return the pulp to the kettle along with the sugar and salt. Cream together the butter and flour, add the well-blended mixture to the boiling purée, stir thoroughly, and continue to simmer the combination until it thickens slightly (to about the consistency of thin gravy). Pour the soup into hot jars and process in a pressure canner for 10 minutes at 5 pounds. At serving time, (I omit this step when serving but you are welcome to do it) empty the concentrate into a saucepan, add 2 pinches of, soda per pint, warm the tomato mix slightly, and dilute it with an equal amount of milk or water. Then heat the soup to eating temperature. 

For a publication on tomatoes and canning visit The University of Maine.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

Do you ever have fresh produce in the house and notice fruit flies hovering around it?  Or have you ever brought in items from the garden and had fruit flies?  I am not a fan of these tiny insects.  I feel like I have an unclean house when I see them flying about. Over the years I have learned a trick on how to get rid of these nasty pests and I wanted to share it with you.  The picture is disgusting, but as you can see, it works.

All you need is Apple Cider Vinegar and Dawn dish soap.


Combine the two ingredients in a disposable dish. I usually do 3/4 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar and 3-4 drops of Dawn. 

Leave the container out on the counter close to the produce and within 24 hours, they will be in the disposable container that you can just throw away.  Easy, simple and fool proof.  Give it a try!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Slow Cooker Chicken and Noodles

Time is often of the essence at my house.  Although we do not have children, we seem to be busy all of the time.  If there isn't a night meeting to attend, there is something to be done on the farm.  With that being said, I ran across this sign at the Indiana State Fair in the Pioneer Building..."Without good farming, there can be no good food.  Without good food, there can be no life." 

Bill and I strive each year to be good stewards of the farm ground that we are entrusted with by our landlords.  We want to be good farming neighbors to those that live around us. We also like to eat "good" food.

Everyone enjoys chicken and noodles, but when you run short of time, try using your slow cooker!

Slow Cooker Chicken and Noodles


4-5 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
2 cans (14.5oz) of chicken broth
2 cans (10.5 oz) Cream of Chicken Soup
1/2 cup of butter
24 oz bag of frozen egg noodles

Put the first 4 ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low for 5-6 hours.  Remove the chicken and shred (I actually shred the chicken in the slow cooker).  Return the chicken to the slow cooker , add the egg noodles and cook for another 2-3 hours (until the noodles are tender).  Add salt/pepper to taste.

For a complete meal, serve these with Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes and Homemade Sweet Rolls.