Thursday, November 3, 2011

Processing blahs

I've still got apples in the basement going bad (I hate wasting food!) and tomatoes in bins and in the freezer that I'd prefer to be in jars. 

However, I'm feeling done.  I don't feel like boiling the big canner up again.  I think I'm just going to use them as they are and if some go bad, so be it.  I've got the processing blahs.

On the other hand, I'm hoping to try making sausage again tomorrow with a friend.  That's a totally different process though, and I'm excited to do that.  I now own 25% of a sausage stuffer, so I hope to get better at it and do it more often. It will probably get it's own post later.

When I was complaining to a friend about my lack of tomatoes this year...No, that's not quite right.  I was complaining that I had a lot of small tomatoes that would never fill 50 pints and that's what I figure we use in a year.    Anyway, the subject of cooking came up.  She couldn't imagine how I would use all those tomatoes. 

"What do you cook that uses so many tomatoes?" She asked.

"Umm,  chilli, spagahetti, stew... I don't know exactly.  I just know they get used and we like them."

I don't think well on my feet.  We don't eat that much chilli.  I just have clear visions of opening jar after jar of tomatoes over the winter and dumping them in "stuff".  What is that "stuff" though? 

This week I decided to get back to menu planning and dutifully wrote out my meals for the week before shopping.  It made shopping easier and I don't think about food all day wondering what I'm making each night.

Lasagna, taco salad with salsa, a lentil stew, chicken quesadillas (with salsa again) and hamburgers.  Hmmm, tomatoes with five of the meals.  Question answered.  I love to put tomatoes in everything.

I'm down to this bin (and the bottom is now visible) and one more like it.  They are ripening faster than I'd like this year, but they won't go to waste.  Instead of painfully peeling, boiling and processing them, I'm just using them fresh.  Clean them, stick them in the Magic Bullet and put in the fridge until I need them, saving some for fresh salsa, hamburgers and eggs.  I don't cook fancy schmancy stuff, so I don't mind the seeds and the peels aren't noticable to mean once whizzed in the Bullet.

On the other hand, I probably do have to do something more deliberate with those apples or just admit defeat and throw them out.  Last year the kids "went off" applesauce, but it seems to be a popular lunch choice again this year.  That means dragging out the processor.  Poo.  I just can't wrap my head around the idea of throwing them in the compost bin.  Life would be easier if I could.


Rosa said...

I hate to remind you but composting apples isn't recommended when there is a possibility of apple maggot. the compost doesn't get hot enough to kill the larvae

Donna Milward said...

I can totally relate to this post! My remaining tomatos are so small and so few now, I'm also finished with canning. Plus I cleaned my oven and have started washing my kitchen walls.

Cool about the sausage! If you have any questions or concerns call me, I am a certified meatcutter with ten years experience. My first job was for Swekla's.

Evelyn in Canada said...

Rosa: You're right, but I didn't see any maggots this year. It should be okay, no?

D: It's funny how much knowledge is out there. I would have never thought to ask you if you had meat experience. It's not something that has come up in Zumba class! I'll keep you in mind if I need help.