You may be asking yourself, ‘why does she care so much about the weight of the food?’ Well, the grocery stores forced me to care. If you buy all your organic and/or heirloom fruit and veggies from the big grocers, the price per pound averages out to $2.00. Now take a look at this:
The last harvest was 9 days ago and so in that amount of time, the sis and I (and my chickens) have another 50 pounds of food! That’s at least $100.00 saved. Yeah, I’d say the weight really matters. And I’ll be heading back to the garden plot in another day or so to collect more zukes, crookneck, tomatoes and lemon thyme. I expect another big pick in a week or so after that.
I never met a Purple Cherokee I didn’t like. How much would you say that baby weighs?
She weighs in at 1 3/4 pounds. Wow! This week, Safeway has heirlooms on sale for $3.50/lb. That means this beauty would have cost me over $6.00. Instead, it cost only pennies and a little bit of my time. (Patting myself on the back right now.)
The hubby’s mouth fell open when he saw how much food we had, and then he got busy. He made us tomato salad for lunch tomorrow. (Several varieties of tomato, onion, red peppers, fresh herbs and our favorite balsamic dressing. Oooo la la!)
Next, he knew the smaller tomatoes (Romas, Amish Paste and a few Early Girls) were begging to become pasta sauce, so he went right to work on it. We do fresh sauce the chunky and easy way by peeling a bunch of tomatoes and rough-chopping them (sometimes we seed them, sometimes not) and letting them simmer for a little while. Real pasta sauce usually cooks all day but we get antsy; we add tomato paste to thicken the sauce to help speed things up so we can eat already!
Because it’s chunky, the longer you cook it the more it will turn out like a bolognese sauce (but without the traditional celery, carrot and wine). You can call it “poor man’s bolognese”… yeah, that’s it. If you pressure can it, however, keep it more on the saucy side. It turns out better that way.
This is 2 lbs Italian sausage (cooked and drained), 2 large onions (chopped), 2 tbls chopped garlic, 1 lb sliced mushrooms, about 10 lbs tomatoes (peeled and chopped), 1/2 cup fresh oregano (finely chopped), 1/2 cup fresh basil (finely chopped), a pinch of thyme, and 3 (6 oz.) cans tomato paste. Salt and pepper to taste, and use only canning salt if you pressure can it. (Also, the hubby likes to add his secret ingredient when he thinks I’m not watching. But I know what it is… a tablespoon of sugar. It does something wonderful to the tomatoes.)
We still have this left over, so it looks like I’ll be making more salsa since the first batch is already gone! We were bored. So we ate. What can I say?
So there ya go. Fresh, free food and money saved. I really started thinking about this when I happened across a YouTube video called 1 Million Pounds Of Food On 3 Acres about a year ago. (Here’s a better video, and here’s another. The website is here.) They not only feed hungry people, but they teach them to feed themselves. I just about fell down when I heard this. No government agency or welfare programs involved; just good citizens doing what they know they should be doing.
So let’s keep on growing and harvesting and weighing and saving and EATING! 🙂
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