Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Pumpkins and Tomatos

Growing up my mom worked 8-5 so by the time she got home there wasn't much time to make things from scratch. To be honest she isn't someone who really enjoys cooking anyway. I also didn't have home economics offered at school or anything like that. So, as you can imagine I learn a lot as I go along in life. I've gotten by this far with a lot of help from Sara Lee, Stouffers, Betty Crocker etc. but now that we are on a budget, it's not so easy. So I have tried my hand at processing my own pumpkins and tomatoes and had great success!!
A couple of weeks ago, I made homemade spaghetti sauce from our own tomato plants and the husband loved it, not one gripe! It was easy and next year for sure I am growing twice as many and canning that stuff, maybe some salsa too! The tomato sauce I made I did the easy way since I wasn't canning. I got the "recipe" from my Mom in law, and it was super easy! I just cut them in half, but scooped out about half the seeds in each one then I pureed them in the food processor. I browned meat and onions, then added the tomatoes, some garlic, oregano and basil. These tomatoes were pretty meaty so I didn't need to add any tomato paste to this batch, but could have it they were too watery. Then I just simmered everything for a while and it was ready to eat!
Then today I decided to try and give pumpkin processing a try. I cut four pie pumpkins in half, scooped out the seeds an stringy stuff and quartered them up. I lined a baking sheet with foil, but a little spray pam on them and put them skin up and baked them at 350 for about an hour. Then I was able to peel the skin right off and puree them in the processor. I now have four cups of puree in the freezer to make pies and bread with. Now to find out if I can handle that task, check back often, as I will be sure to post!

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