Saturday, October 11, 2008

Huh. this is really interesting. Make your own aluminum-free baking powder.


Friday, October 10, 2008

Last week, it was peaches.

This week, tomatoes!

Our garden tomatoes did, well, nothing, so I got a printer-paper box full of canning tomatoes at the farmer's market last weekend. I spent 2 days making this amazing canned tomato soup: (my friend Jill gave me the recipe, but then I found it online too, at this site:)

  • 6 onions, chopped
  • 1 bunch celery, chopped
  • 8 quarts fresh tomatoes (or 5-6 quarts of juice)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup flour


  1. Chop onion& celery.
  2. Place in large kettle w/ just enough water to keep them from burning.
  3. While this simmers, cut tomatoes (remove stems if not using strainer).
  4. Add to kettle& cook until tender.
  5. Place this all through Victorio strainer (or similar).
  6. Return to kettle.
  7. Add sugar& salt.
  8. Cream butter and flour together& mix thoroughly with two cups of COLD juice, until dissolved (or blend together in a blender), to avoid lumps of flour in the juice.
  9. Add butter/flour mixture to warmed tomato juice. (Add before it's hot, to avoid lumps of flour!).
  10. Stir well.
  11. Heat just until hot. (If it gets to a boil, it can make the flour lumpy).
  12. Just prior to boiling, turn off the burner. (It will continue to thicken as it cools.).
  13. Ladle into jars& close securely with lids.
  14. Return to canner & process 20-30 minutes (start timing when it's at a 'rolling' boil).
  15. Remove from canner & allow to set until sealed (approx. 12 hours) To serve, mix equal parts tomato concentrate to milk, and add 1/2 t. of baking soda per pint as it cooks (1 t. per quart).

It is SUCH a delicious recipe. It's not at all difficult, it just takes a bit of time. I did 2 batches, and got 10 quarts and 8 pints of soup concentrate. The total cost to make that amount of soup was about $30 - and I used local organic flour, butter, and onions, and raw sugar (i should have tried substituting a bit of honey for the sugar. Next year i will!). If I had my own garden tomatoes, it would have been only $15. Pretty incredible, huh?

Next year I'm hoping for better luck in the garden. I'd love to try this recipe with roasted garlic and loads of black pepper added.....

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Thursday, October 09, 2008

A make-your-own chewing gum kit - what a fun thing! I think i have to get this for my 7 year old nephew for christmas. he loves to "do" stuff.

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

I'm busy listing new scarves on my etsy site! This one (above) was potdyed with madder root.

this one was dyed with rust....and this one was compost-dyed with i-dont-even-remember-what!

I have a few more scarves to list, then I will start listing some naturally dyed shawls - I'm REALLy excited to list those, as they are new, and I really love them. (I love shawls and had a really, really hard time not keeping them all for my very own).

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Monday, October 06, 2008

I made this last weekend, and it was delicious. I'm not a *huge* cake fan, but this was so very moist, and not too sweet. I ate it for breakfast.

Here is the original recipe:

Pumpkin Bundt Cake

1 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 can pumpkin -- (15 ounce)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups white sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 10 inch bundt or tube pan.

Cream oil, beaten eggs, pumpkin and vanilla together.

Sift the flour, sugar, baking soda, ground nutmeg, ground allspice, ground cinnamon, ground cloves and salt together. Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and mix until just combined. If desired, stir in some chopped nuts. Pour batter into the prepared pan.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cake cool in pan for 5 minutes then turn out onto a plate and sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.

And here are my adjustments:

I used cooked, mashed butternut squash, because it seems silly to buy canned pumpkin when there are all kinds of great locally grown winter squashes.

I added 2 grated carrots, because I have LOADS of them from the CSA and am putting them in everything I can. Plus, if something has 2 vegetables (butternut squash and carrots), then it is a casserole. Right?? haha.


I added black walnuts, and raisins, and substituted homemade apple butter for 1/2 cup of the oil. I also cut back on the sugar by a half cup. I didn't use any frosting and found it plenty sweet, but of course this cake could be frosted.

I bet it would alos be delicious with shredded zucchini, chocolate chips, or candied ginger pieces. or all three. :)

This cake freezes beautifully! Also it would be just as good baked as a sheet cake or made into cupcakes.

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