How I spent my day off

A completely erroneous title – anyone who farms and has an off-farm job doesn’t have days off, they just switch hats.

We’re getting a lot of rain these days – it’s not called the Wet Coast for nothing.  I’m happy to have no end to my list of indoor things to do.  The following pictures describe how I spent a rainy day at home last week.  Just the fun stuff.

First off, I got some chicken backs out of the freezer (I bag these in pairs when I’m piecing chicken for home consumption), and put them on to simmer up for soup stock.

Next  I got the tomatoes started.  These are from my elderly neighbour – my crop is in the little metal bowl.  This is the second batch of tomatoes he gave me, and he’s had about 4 times what he’s given me for his own kitchen.

Matron of Husbandry who blogs at Throwback at Trapper Creek wrote a post a while back about a “glut” sauce she makes when she’s in tomato overload.  It’s a recipe from Joan Gussow Dye, and I found it numerous places on the web.  Matron had the best picture of it though.  I’m a sucker for pictures with recipes.

It took a little while to get 6 pounds of tomatoes chopped, along with some onion, celery and red pepper, but once done, drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, it went into the oven to roast, freeing me up to get started on applesauce:

Except that right after I brought the buckets inside, I realized I needed to get the crockpot going with the soup I was planning on for dinner.  The chicken backs had been simmering for about an hour, so the old hambone, split peas, onion, carrot and potato went into the pot, and got topped off with about 6 cups of stock poured directly from the stock pot.

That was dinner taken care of.  Now what was I doing with those apples?

The apple sauce used about 10 lbs of apples.  I had to leave the rest of the bucket for another day.  As soon as I had the apple sauce cooking down, I pulled the tomato glut sauce out of the oven, to cool down before freezing:

The glut sauce had only used about 2/3 of the tomatoes, so I froze most of the rest of them (whole, skins on), and the few remaining rejects got chopped up and stewed to make a topping for crostini to go with the soup later.  The chicken stock I hadn’t poured into the crock pot had cooled enough to skim.  I strained it into containers to freeze – about 1.5 litres (3 pints).  Picked all the meat off the carcasses – not a lot there, I’m getting better at piecing chicken, obviously – about 2 cups worth, which got put in the freezer next to the stock, ready for a future soup or stew.

The apple sauce made 2 litres to freeze, plus enough for dessert at suppertime.

The soup was wonderful, and fully appreciated by the kid with the sore throat.

Our  freezers, which were already pretty packed, are now filled to busting.  Guess we’ll just have to start eating.  Which is of course, the point of it all.

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9 thoughts on “How I spent my day off

  1. Wendy says:

    Love the little stand for the apple peeler. I’m going to have Husband whip me up a couple of those, one for my peeler, one for my strainer. The peeler won’t fit the table edge and the strainer is forever popping off on me. Thanks for the idea!

    • the peeler/corer/slicer (such a catchy name) is from Pampered Chef, which I bought about 10 years ago – the stand was also from PC – it was just easier than making my own

    • Annie Carlson says:

      I was just going to comment on the stand! That is cool.

      • Those of you handier than I could absolutely make one. This one has little rubber feet so it doesn’t mark the counter. I will tell you it’s not perfect – I need to hold it down with one hand and crank with the other. But I used to have a peeler that supposely sunctioned to the counter, and that totally didn’t work. The stand works well enough.

  2. wildramp says:

    I’ll be there for dinner!!

  3. df says:

    Sounds like a wonderfully productive day in the kitchen. Even though it’s all more work, it’s work that makes you feel so good! I’m hoping to have my own productive day preserving some wonderful cabbage and carrots I just picked up at the last day of a farmers’ market in our area.

    • It was a productive day, and I think that’s why it stood out for me. So many of my days get used up on a lot of interruptions, errands, small stuff. I guess that’s life, but it does feel good when it goes according to plan.

      Cabbage – we didn’t grow any – but my husband just acquired a crock to make sauerkraut, and is about to launch into sauerkraut making. We bought some at a Mennonite farm this summer that was like nothing I’d ever tasted before, and he’s hoping to replicate that.

  4. It all sounds yummy. I’m finding that the more time I spend working on raising food, the less time I have to cook it, thus, defeating the purpose. Maybe some day I will get to retire and will have time to cook more of
    the wonderful food we raise.

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