While the gardener’s away

The garden keeps growing, and growing, and growing!  We had a kind friend look after the chickens but he has his own garden, so my squash were left to plot world domination. It’s a good thing I came home a day early or we’d be duking it out for the house.

We haven’t weighed the squash yet.  I’m going to need to find a larger scale.  I need to be strong next year and plant only Costata Romanesca zucchini and Flying Saucers.  Definitely no Yellow Crookneck.  I’ll shred and freeze quite a bit of the squash, and the rest will be shared with friends and the hens.  In the past I’d offered some of our excess to the local pantry, but our local food pantry closed a few weeks ago.

The tomatoes came in at nearly 23 lbs.; the beans, over 4 1/2 lbs. Yikes.    The tomatoes became 16 pints of salsa, and the beans will be blanched and frozen tomorrow.  Even with 16 pints of salsa, I have quite a few tomatoes left over.  I’d like to try and make homemade enchilada sauce if I can find a safe recipe to can.  If anyone knows of one, please share!


13 Responses to “While the gardener’s away”

  1. meemsnyc Says:

    Wow! That is quite the harvest! Amazing!

  2. The Mom Says:

    Beautiful! It’s such a wonderful problem to have too much from the garden.

  3. Sara Says:

    Beautiful! I love your harvest photos.

    It seems like there’s an enchilada sauce recipe in the bigger ball book…I can look at home. I tend to just can plain tomato sauce and then make a quickie sauce from that. I have a super simple enchilada sauce recipe that’s basically a roux with flour, oil, and chili powder, with 8 oz. of tomato sauce thrown in. Fast, and then I don’t have to make two different canned products, ha!

    • Ali Says:

      Oooh, I will have to look, I have the Ball Complete Home Preserving book. My favorite Enchilada sauce recipe is from Cooks Illustrated, but I let my subscription lapse and now can’t get to it, sigh.

      • Sara Says:

        Shoot, I’m looking and don’t see it. They have some chili sauces that might work. I do like the “big” ball book, I’m trying a lot of new salsa recipes this year out of there.

        Here’s my really basic recipe (not for canning, but uses canned tomato sauce)

        cook one minute:
        2T oil
        2T flour
        2T chili powder

        ½ t cumin
        1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
        1 cup water
        1 t salt
        ¼ t garlic powder

        Simmer 10 minutes. Sometimes I add less water if my tomato sauce is on the thin side.

        Its from one of those substitution recipe sites (ie, if you’re out of store-bought sauce) but I find it’s pretty good, and of course you could adapt it for more complex flavors. Better spice mix, fresh garlic, etc.

  4. Daphne Says:

    I need to make more salsa sometime. I really don’t know how much I use in a year, but I need to figure out that kind of thing so I can figure out how much of each thing I have to make. In other years it didn’t matter as I never had enough for to can for the year anyway. I just made what I wanted knowing it would run out. This year there are so many tomatoes though.

    • Ali Says:

      I’m still looking for a great salsa recipe. This time I tried Annie’s Salsa, but it is too ketchupy for my taste. Annie’s Granny made a version of it with pineapple that sounded interesting, though…. although it freaks me out a bit to make changes in home-canned food.

  5. Annie's Granny Says:


    Scroll down a bit on the page for a safe recipe. There is one using tomatoes, and further down on the page, another using just peppers.

  6. Annie's Granny Says:

    “Granny made a version of it with pineapple that sounded interesting, though…. although it freaks me out a bit to make changes in home-canned food.”

    From the GardenWeb forum, where they insist on tested recipes for safe canning…

    ” it is easier and smarter to start with a tomato salsa recipe and substitute the fruit in, rather than start with a fruit recipe and add tomatoes. When you substitute fruit you are making the product more acidic and generally decreasing the processing time. So you end up with a safer product. When you do the reverse, you can end up beyond the margin of safety in the recipe, and that’s where you end up with problems.”

    I didn’t decrease my processing time, and I substituted the canned pineapple for the canned tomato sauce that was called for in the original. Also, the canned tomato sauce and canned tomato paste are optional, so if you left them out, the salsa would be less ketchupy.

    I just made another batch, and added some chopped canned peaches. That one was pretty good too. I still left out the tomato sauce, but used the paste in both recipes.

    • Ali Says:

      Thanks, Granny! I will do some reading about Annie’s Salsa to try and find all the variations. I buy some Pace Chipotle Pineapple Salsa that I love so am thinking I will try the Pineapple version.

  7. Annie's Granny Says:

    One version that was done by Annie (she has her canning recipes approved for safety….Annie’s Salsa took five years before she got the approval!) is Annie’s Peach Twist Salsa. A Google search will bring up that recipe.

  8. Robin Says:

    WOW! That is something exciting to come back to.

  9. Diana Says:

    Heya Henbogle – Thanks for sharing all your harvests with us. It’s because of your harvest-tracking that I haven’t given up on my garden yet… that is, you inspired me to keep track of my own stuff and it turns out this year hasn’t been a *complete* disaster for us as I’ve “earned” almost $300 despite the super-pest-control-problems we’ve been going through. I also love to see how much you’ve earned as it helps me justify the expensive new deer fence I want to have installed. -laugh- I mean, if it’s going to pay for itself in two years… hee hee!

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