Wednesday, February 8, 2012

TPH Episode 40

Welcome back Homesteaders! Today we are going to talk about how to start your own seeds and give you a little history about tomatoes. And for those of you who like paranormal romances, stay tuned at the end of the show for a book review!

Seed Starting


Fresh Salsa

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: Makes 2 to 3 Cups


  • 4 medium tomatoes, cored, seeds removed, chopped
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons finely chopped sweet onion or yellow onion
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons minced jalapeno or serrano pepper
  • 2 heaping tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • salt and pepper, to taste


In a bowl, combine all ingredients and stir to blend.
Cover and refrigerate until serving time.

Homemade Ketchup
This homemade ketchup takes time, but the final result is well worth the effort. I start this the day before, then I refrigerate the tomato pulp and liquid mixture to boil down and process the next day.


  • 1 1/2 teaspoons celery seeds
  • 2 teaspoons whole cloves
  • 1 (3- to 4-inch) cinnamon stick, broken into small pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole allspice berries
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
  • 12 pounds tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 small hot red pepper, finely chopped, or 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons pickling salt


Put the celery seeds, cloves, cinnamon, allspice, and mustard seeds in a cheesecloth bag. Tie up and set aside.

In a small stainless steel or enamel-lined saucepan, combine the vinegar and spice bag. Bring to a full boil. Remove from heat and let stand for 25 minutes. Remove the spice bag and discard. Set the vinegar aside.

In a large stainless steel or enamel-lined kettle (at least 8 to 12 quart size), combine the chopped tomatoes, garlic, onion, and red pepper or cayenne. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue at a gently boil, stirring frequently, for 25 minutes. Add the spiced vinegar to the tomato mixture and continue cooking, stirring frequently, for 30 minutes longer.

Drain the tomatoes into a large stainless steel saucepan, then put them through a food mill to extract as much juice and pulp into the saucepan as possible. Discard the solids. Add sugar and salt to the extracted pulp and juices. At this point, you can refrigerate this mixture overnight and finish the next day. Bring the tomato pulp mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and boil for about 2 hours, or until reduced by about 2/3 and thickened to a ketchup consistency.
Meanwhile, prepare the work area, canner, jars, and lids. See Preparing Jars for Canning and Boiling Water Processing.

Fill jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Use a small plastic or stainless steel spatula to remove air bubbles, wipe rims with a damp cloth, and fit with lids and seals.

Transfer to a rack in the canner and lower into the hot water. Add more water, as needed, so you have 1 inch over the jars. Cover, bring to a boil, and continue boiling gently for 15 minutes.

Makes 3 pints.

Book Review

Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble: The Jolie Wilkins Series, Book 1 by H.P. Mallory
· ISBN-10: 1453812954
· ISBN-13: 978-1453812952
Amazon: Kindle 0.99 Used $3.08
B&N: $21 used Nook 0.99

Toil and Trouble, a Paranormal Romance (Jolie Wilkins Series, Book # 2) by H.P. Mallory
· ISBN-10: 1456428810
· ISBN-13: 978-1456428815
Amazon: Kindle $3.99
B&N: Nook $3.99

Witchful Thinking Release date 2/28/12
$7.99 paperback and Nook and Kindle
· ISBN-10: 0345531450
· ISBN-13: 978-0345531452

Growth Zones

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