July 2010



Not bad looking 'Maters. . . .
Up to our elbows in overripe tomatoes!


    Growing up, there were 7 of us (including my parents) there were plenty of mouths to feed so money had to stretch.  Mom was good at doing that.   Meals weren’t fancy but they were always served with a smile and at the family table.  A lot of times she’d make things from scratch; cookies cakes and gravies were seldom from a mix.  And she would occasionally make tomato sauce from paste and dried herbs.  I liked the smell of it cooking.     

The only thing Mom would grow in the back yard (we lived in the city) was rhubarb.  Of all things.  No tomatoes, carrots or radishes. . . but rhubarb.  I can only imagine that it was an easy thing to grow and that Dad liked it .  My brother Frank says it made the house smell funny when it cooked.  I don’t remember that.   

A few more freshly picked. . .
Some Freshly picked ‘maters will rounds out the batch






  I think she’d be pleasantly amused at most of my attempts at cooking.  I don’t do a lot of it; probably to our detriment.   If I’d spend less time messing with this box I probably could do it. . . don’t tell Mom! 


EVOO, Garlic and Onions. . . .

    Anyway, we have been growing a few things as you might have read from other editions of this blog.   And we are currently being overrun with tomatoes.  Some of them have been ripe for a while and needed to be used or else they’d go bad.  So sauce is the answer.  And I remember last year’s version was quite a mess.   I made a few additional preparations to limit the amount of mess as much as I could.   There were plenty of extra towel and rags to wipe my hands and other dribbles as they happened.  (And they did!)   So water was boiled to blanch them; that makes it easier to peel the skin away.    That is such a messy job.  I suppose I could have used a food processor, but why waste electricity doing something you can do yourself?  It wasn’t that hard; just risky considering the time I cut my finger slicing the yellow squash. . . probably should have gotten a stitch, but naaaaa. 


I tried so hard to keep in between the lines. . . .

Tomatoes must have a LOT of water because by the time they cook down to the texture you are accustomed to there is only about half of what you had at the beginning.  Hopefully we’ll have enough tomatoes for another batch.  But the bugs and my lazy gardening “techniques” have not been the best this year.   The plants are really droopy.  They have even knocked over their own cages!  Guess we’ll have to do something stronger next time. 


Ready for Spaghetti!

Thanks for sharing my tomato sauce episode. . . stay tuned for more baby pictures!  










Yes we have more babies. . . I think I blogged about when we had Little Joe. . . probably until you got tired of hearing about him! Well in the past 10 days we have had three more babies.  All right I know that the cows did all the work  . . .but they were born here at Smiling J Farm!

 Brown Sugar was the first to have her baby.   I had gone in to the office on my day off (it was Friday, the 25th) and got a call from Troy that we had a new calf!  We were very surprised since we didn’t expect the ladies to deliver so soon.  My fault for not recording the dates of “encounters” with the bull.  Troy thought they would be birthing in the fall. . .  

Then the next week later we awoke on a Saturday to another baby!  This time is was Sugars best friend Tina who was the momma.   We were concerned about being able to tell them apart since the babies are both black.  But of course the mommas know their own babies! 

Not to be left out, three days after Tina’s baby was born, Gretchen birthed her little one!  She is the most doting of the three mothers and it’s great to watch.  All three are girls and they all have the same sire.  His name is Mini-Mack and he is a short-legged Dexter Bull.  

  Troy says that we may have to keep Mack around for a little while now that we know he throws great girls.   No freezer for Mack!

So now we had to come up with names for all three. . . Had to go cute since we have Angelina and Joe Lee!  This is what we plan on calling them:   Brown Sugar has Spice (because we all know that is what little girls are made of); Tina is momma to  Louise (Tina Louise played Ginger on Gilligan’s Island),  and Gretchen’s baby has yet to be named. . .  I just can’t think of any one with that name. . . If anyone has suggestions, we’re open for them.  I’ve even googled it and didn’t know those folks.  We could go with a German name to go with Gretchen.  We’ll see. 

MEanwhile we’ll enjoy watching the girls play in the pasture together and grow!