Monday, October 10, 2011
In the meantime, I haven't done a lot of new cooking, relying on the quick and familiar in an uncertain time. However, one of the goals I had set for myself this season was to have a small garden and learn how to do some canning. I turned the plot over by hand (as I said, it was a small garden), fertilized and planted, and everything seemed to go along swimmingly. I was so happy to see my little garden flourishing!
We drink a lot of tomato juice in this household, maybe a half a gallon every week and we never seem to tire of it. We take the occasional break and try other juices but always return to tomato juice, so it was no big surprise that I decided to try homemade tomato juice.
Just let me assure you that there is no comparison! Good golly, Miss Molly, this was good! It took a little getting used to because everthing was fresh (and admittedly gave poor Ole Sweetie-Pi "bubbles in the belly" because he's not accustomed to consuming glasses and glasses of fresh veggies, smiles).
If you enjoy having fresh vegetables, no preservatives or chemical addivities, I believe you'll enjoy this. It's like drinking liquid sunshine.
12 medium tomatoes, cored and cut into quarters
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon sugar
Combine the first six ingredients in a Dutch oven and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and allow to simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat. Put the vegetables through a food mill or a sieve, squeezing out as much liquid as possible. Discard cooked vegetables (or if you're clever and frugal, perhaps use in a soup?)
To the juice, add the spices. Taste for seasoning and adjust to your personal taste. Chill the juice thoroughly before serving.