Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Freezer Recipe for Tomato Soup

Happy Birthday to a great Mom and Nana!  We love you!  

Mom is always involved in community projects...
and she keeps Dad involved in "Home Projects"!

Upon my recent visits to the Bentonville Farmers' Market an idea for a recipe search struck me as I walked past bushel baskets and boxes full of tomatoes that needed to be used-pronto!  The great part was that the red beauties were sold at a discount price.  I decided to look through my old cookbook collection for recipes for ways to use up wonderful large amounts of summer produce.  In the winter, it's such a treat to have the taste of the garden in anything you prepare.  Not only did I find some recipes, but this book offers ways to fill your freezer.  The book is called Cooking for The Freezer by Myra Waldo and it's from1960.
 I remember when both my grandparents and my parents grew tomatoes in the summer;   like green beans, when they come on the vines...they come with a vengeance;  it's a blessing and a curse.  My mom has a "summer kitchen" that's great for canning, just off the back of her house(it's a pre-Civil War house), and I have fond memories of learning to can tomatoes back on that screened porch. As a kid, I thought it was amazing how scalding the tomatoes made the skins peel right off!  Fascinating and exciting for the "junior canning helpers", but for the women responsible for the whole process of "putting up"  it's a full time job canning or freezing everything.  I'm so glad that my mom was patient enough to put up with letting me "help" her on those hot summer days!
 One year, we had  particularly great conditions  for green beans.  Mom and Dad's  vines flourished!   We ate green beans everyday with our meals;  some days, Mom and  I would eat them solo as a lunch (there's nothing better-with bacon and onions in them!)  Day after day, we picked green beans!   There were beans piled on every available table.  Prepping, canning and freezing were in  full action mode.  At the end of  that summer(and our energy)we just let the rest go!
I hope you enjoy this recipe for homemade tomato soup that goes in the freezer.  Imagine sitting by the window this January, watching it snow, while you dip your buttered toast into a bowl of this soup!

Tomato Soup

8 pounds very ripe tomatoes, diced
1 C water
2 onions, diced
2 tsp salt
1/4 C lemon juice
1/4 C sugar
2 TBSP butter
1 TBSP flour
3/4 C milk
Combine the tomatoes, water, onions and salt in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Cover and cook over low heat 30 minutes.  Stir in the lemon juice and sugar;  cook 5 minutes.  Puree the mixture in an electric blender, then strain;  or force through a food mill.  Pour 2/3 of the soup into a bowl and cool, then pour into 2 containers.  Seal, label and freeze.

For Tonight's Dinner:
Melt the butter, blend in the flour.  Gradually add the milk, stirring steadily to the boiling point.  Mix into the remaining soup.  Heat and taste for seasoning.

To Serve From Frozen State:
Turn contents of one container into a saucepan, cover and cook over low heat until thawed.  Mix in white sauce as prepared above.  Heat and taste for seasoning.
Serves 6-8 each time. 

Savvy Southern Style
Lamberts Lately
Miz Helen's Country Cottage
The 36th Avenue
Brambleberry Cottage
Joyful Homemaking

Monday, August 19, 2013

Fried Corn

Saturday mornings in NW Arkansas mean a trip to the local  farmers' market.  Bentonville has a wonderful market down on the square.  It's more than just people shopping for produce, it's a community get-together that takes place each Saturday.  Folks visit with neighbors, admire each others' dogs, and watch  the youthful energy exhibited by children as they play, eat ice cream... and also admire the dogs in the crowd.  The quality and variety of locally grown produce (meat and honey, too) is amazing!  Last week I even spotted gluten-free baked goods at one stand;  so there's something of interest to everyone.  Saturday-before-last I bought rhubarb to make a pie and some tomatoes that were almost a purple color.  When I asked about their unusual color, the seller informed us that they are Cherokee tomatoes.  They have a little bit of a tangier taste, but were great on hamburgers!  This week's purchases included tomatoes and the best green beans I've ever eaten.  I steamed those beans and then sauteed them with a little bit of bacon grease.    I saw a new type of corn that I wasn't familiar with, it's called Peaches and Cream corn...maybe next Saturday!

Here's a way to use up leftover ears of cooked corn.  We just love fried corn around here!

Sheila's Fried Corn
Using a large cast iron or non-stick skillet, melt butter (I use a heaping TBSP of Heart Smart).  Once skillet is hot enough to sizzle, cut cold corn off the cobs into skillet.  Make sure you scrape the milk from the cobs!  Salt and pepper to taste.  Fry until corn is hot through.  If you like Mexican corn, chop up some fresh garden peppers in there, too!  Enjoy! 

Book I'm reading:  Wicked:  The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory McGuire

Simply Sweet Home
The Shabby Nest
My Romantic Home
Common Ground
The Charm of Home
Our Delightful Home