Thursday, October 25, 2012

A whole month!!

Here's what we've been up to since I last posted (in September! Sorry...)

We tore down the bookshelf/door between our living room and the front room. I did most of the crowbar work and then Bill kicked a hole in the sheet rock.

I've been painting the room purple with some random stenciling throughout. It will be my craft room very soon!

We picked a wheel-barrel full of pumpkins.

And stuccoed the top portion of Bill's oven. The bottom will get a brick facade some day.

We've also been canning ripe tomatoes. What?? Wasn't there a frost in Indiana weeks ago? Aren't all your tomato plants dead? Yes, they are. But we picked 10 gallons of green tomatoes just before the frost and have been ripening them in a basket (previously two baskets) in our kitchen.

Last week we canned 6 quarts of tomatoes in their own juices and will likely do so again in a few days. Every 5 days or so, I go through the basket and pull out the tomatoes that are turning red (or yellow or purple as the case may be) and put them in a bowl where we can keep a closer eye on them. When they are ripe, they go into a pot of progressive tomato sauce (that is, we start it when it needs to be started and add tomatoes as they get ripe. It's usually 2-3 sessions of cutting and boiling over the course of one week). When we fill up the pot, we can them up.

We've only lost a 5-6 tomatoes to mold or fruit flies and it only affects individual fruits, not their neighbors in the basket. We read about this "method" on a favorite blog (How To Ripen Green Tomatoes Indoors the Really Easy Way) and highly endorse it. The cans we get from these 10 gallons will represent about 20-25% of the tomatoes we preserve this year, so it's well worth it.