Sunday, August 25, 2013

Bye-Bye Garden

I have been so ready to see this dreadful garden season go away. Finally, the husband and son got all the tomato stakes out of the garden. I was so glad when I heard the tractor fire up. I look out and this is what I see.

 Crazy that he used the mower to knock the dreadful weeds down. But, such a blessing now I can see across the yard and it don't look so bad from the main road. 

Everything is gone except the very little sweet potato patch down at the far end of the garden. I'm not even sure if they bloomed so we may not have any sweet potatoes. In the next few weeks he'll plow the garden and we'll get all the rabbit droppings and hog manure put on it for the winter. Just maybe next years garden will be a success.

I wish I had the nerve to put in a fall or winter garden but, I feel its going to get cold quick. Which makes me think that the garden will not do any good. Cutting my losses this year and ready to move on.

~ Farm Girl

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Friday, August 23, 2013

Slow-Cooker Balsamic Pot Roast

1 beef chuck or bottom round roast, about 3 1/4 pounds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups unsalted beef stock
2/3 cup balsamic vinegar

Spray slow cooker bowl with non-stick cooking spray. Season roast with salt, thyme and black pepper. Place in bottom of slow cooker.

Scatter onion, carrots, celery and garlic over roast. Pour stock and balsamic vinegar over top. Cover and cook on LOW for 10 hours.

Remove roast and allow to rest 15 minutes before slicing. Skim fat off cooking liquid and thicken if desired. Serve sauce over roast.

Serves 6
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 hours

This recipe is a keeper for my house. I had to work late so the sauce wasn't made. It cooked a little longer (okay two whole hours longer) than recommended so it couldn't be sliced as it fell apart. I will can the broth for later use. Possibly in vegetable soup or something of the like. Two Thumbs Up!!Pin It


This years garden was less than stellar. The weather started out good and we were getting peppers, green beans and cherry tomatoes fairly often. Then the rain started and it pretty much drowned everything out. Out of the 96 tomato plants I planted I only got some of the cherry tomatoes everything else rotted on the vines. My green beans did fairly well. I did can 33 quarts myself, my mother in law got 7 to 10 quarts from the third picking. I also got some cucumbers to make pickle relish. I got some hot banana pepper rings canned too.

I really had high hopes to can another 1000 jars this season but I fell extremely short. I can only hope that next year will be much better with bumper crops.

My mother and I went to Ohio and picked some tomatoes. Because of my work schedule I could only get them cleaned prepped and put in the freezer. I will be doing them up into spaghetti sauce in a few weeks. I still need to gather a few ingredients to get it all together.

I will be canning all winter but it will be only the stuff like meats and vegetables that I find on sale at the markets. I would rather be canning those kinds of things than nothing at all.

So how did your garden(s) do this year?

~ FarmgirlPin It

Friday, August 16, 2013

Home Canned Meatballs

Before processing

For a while now I have been on the search for different canning recipes because of my limited time home to cook and also I prefer to have more shelf stable foods on hand with living out here in the country and the electric seems to go off all the time. I found this recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens Home Canning Cook Book dated 1973. I first had my reservations due to the ingredients but I tried it and now I'm hooked. I have added a few ingredients for my families liking. Obviously, it must only be canned in a pressure caner, and they should be packed loosely as directed. Make sure you don't get your meatballs to big either, you want them to heat through, quickly.

I have canned them in water with bouillon added. Use a size 60 scoop to make the meatballs. I use only wide mouth pint and quart jars, makes getting them in and out easily.

Basic Meatballs
6 large eggs
6 cups soft bread crumbs
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (optional)
parsley, minced (optional)
1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper (optional)
6 pounds ground beef

2 quarts boiling water or broth (approximate)
1/2 to 1 bouillon cube per jar

In a large bowl, combine first 11 ingredients.  Add beef; mix well. Shape into 12 dozen 1-inch meatballs. (use size 60 scoop). Place on shallow baking pan. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.

Pack loosely into hot jars, leaving 1 inch head space. Add bouillon cube and boiling water or broth leaving 1 head space. Adjust lids. Process in pressure caner at 10 pounds pressure for (pints) 75 minutes and (quarts) 90 minutes.

Makes 8 pintsPin It