Sunday, September 21, 2014

Friday Night activities

Friday Night activities with my 2 favorite people. A perfect way to unwind  from a  long day.


The Cool Family

Monday, September 8, 2014

Save those Heirloom Tomato seeds!

Yep , its that time of year.. .Tomato season is coming to an end *sniff sniff............. I am thoroughly enjoying the last of my daily tomato sandwiches, canning some salsa, and   of course....saving my seeds!

Saving most seeds is fairly easy, you scrape out the seeds and set them out to dry,but tomato seeds require a couple extras steps, on account of the tomato that is stuck to the seeds.. To save heirloom tomato seeds you need to seperate the tomato flesh from the seeds.. And today I am going to tell ya how to do that ;)

What you will need
* Your favorite heirloom tomato ( this is a big rainbow in pic)
* a small glass ( I have a shot glass in the photo)
*saran wrap or plastic bag

*Cut tomato in half and scoop out the seeds, place in glass..

*Fill Jar with about 1.5" of water

Cover Jar with either saran wrap or plastic bag and place rubberband over jar. Poke holes in the top of the plastic to allow air circulation.

Stir mixture once a day every day for about 3-5 days until you see a fairly thick film on top of the water. It will aslo have an unpleasant smell, don't panic,, haah, this is normal..

Rinse seeds with water while dumping out the yucky water.. the yuck will dump out and the seeds will stay at the bottom of the glass.. Pour SLOWLY so you don't dump any seeds out.
Place on napkin or plate and let air dry!!
THATS IT! place in envelope , label and seal.. place in a cool dry place..

No more buying heirloom seeds! Ok who am I kidding,, no matter how many seeds I save, I always buy another variety the next year ;) But this is a great way to save money and grow those heirlooms you love!!!

**Fermenting the seeds will  also help kill any disease present, but please beware that it will not kill all disease. so try to stay away from infected plants.

What is your favorite Heirloom tomato?? I am always looking to try new varieties!

The Cools

Thursday, September 4, 2014

How to: canning Grape Juice

Labor day weekend, I was lucky enough to be invited ( by a friend) to go pick some grapes. A fella she knew apparently had TONS of grape vines that his grandfather planted ( so yeah these are some old vines), and being near 80 he just didn't really have use for all of them.. Best of all , they are all ORGANIC! never been sprayed.
Needless to say we picked A LOT of grapes.. we each came home with about 40 lbs worth !

I knew I could make Jam (but my canned goods cubbard is plum full of jam ) but wanted to make something else. I thought about grape juice and what do ya know..........
My friend Tree from posted a recipe for me, from her blog. She did say it turned out a little sweet.. So I decided to look around online and found a wonderful recipe for Grape Juice Concentrate.

What you will need:
Grapes: Concord are probably the best for juice, but other varieties will work too.
-Boiling water.

1. wash and sterilize Quart Jars.. then place in canner in hot hot water for atleast 10 minutes.
2. remove Jars from canner.
3. Fill each Quart Jar with 2 Cups grapes and 2/3 cup sugar

4, Pour boiling water over mixture and stir up. Leave 1" head space.
5. Wipe rim, add lids and rings and boil for 20 minutes in a water bath canner...

THAT IS IT.. It is probably the easiest canning recipe I EVER encountered!

One jar boiled over a bit when i took it out of the canner, so that gave me the wonderful opportunity of trying the juice,, and it is going to be DELICIOUS!

I am not sure as to how long you should let the Jars sit, but I am going to bet a couple months would be good, the longer they sit the more concentrated and flavorful they will be :)

When you are ready to open and serve:
strain out Juice through Cheescloth and discard grapes into compost. Add 1 qt Cold water and serve!

Next up:  WINE :)

The Cools