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Slow Roasted Tomatoes, Frozen

7/7/2020 – This was inspired by Collen Leonard and the blog here.

  1. We trimmed the medium round tomatoes from the garden, cut them in half and removed the seeds and juice. We fixed enough to cover a ½-sheet pan with one layer; not crowded. Did the same thing with the small Romas.
  2. Drizzle liberally with olive oil, add chopped garlic, dried basil (did not yet have a lot in the garden), salt and pepper.
  3. Baked in a preheated 350-degree convection oven for 2 hours.
  4. Pack in zip-lock freezer bags and froze.

After 2 hours in the oven, and the house smelling great, they looked about 50% dehydrated, browned, and crusty; but still too wet to vac pack. The full trays of raw each cooked down to less than a pint in a zip-lock quart bags; i.e. we had four bags each holding less than a pint.

Mary’s Roasted Tomato Salsa

7/3/2020 – Mary made this the weekend Kelley and Family and Tim and Family were visiting. We had a lot of small Roma tomatoes and some others from the garden that would have been too much trouble to can. She read recipes then made this very good, rich, flavorful salsa that was not too hot but had a good buzz.

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Mary’s Roasted Tomatillo Salsa


6/30/2020 – Mary made this with fresh tomatillos from our garden. It was really good.

  • 8 ounces (3 to 4 medium) tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • Fresh hot large jalapeno with seeds
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 6 sprigs of fresh cilantro
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • Salt


  • Roast the tomatillos, chile(s), and garlic under the broiler on high until blotchy black and softening.
  • Flip them over and roast the other side. Cool, then transfer everything to a blender including the juice from the tomatillos.
  • Add the cilantro and blend to a coarse puree. Scoop into a serving dish.
  • Add the onion.
  • Add salt to taste.
  • Add water if needed for the desired consistency.

Canning Tomatoes with the Pressure Cooker 2020

Last year’s canned tomatoes were amazingly good so this effort follows that one.

  1. Wash and trim raw tomatoes.
  2. Remove the skin in a boiling water bath.
  3. Trim any damaged parts.
  4. Strain in a colander over a large pot
  5. Fill jars including citric acid
  6. Process in the canner at 10 psi for 25 minutes per USDA. But, from Balls web page titled Tomatoes Whole, Halved or Quartered – Pressure Canning. “Process pints and quarts 10 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure in a pressure canner”.

Baked Overgrown Summer Squash


  • 1 or 2 overgrown yellow summer squash, ends removed and halved long ways
  • 2 small spoonfuls of butter per squash half
  • 1 or 2 slices of onion per squash half
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • Kosher Salt
  • Course ground black pepper
  • Creole Seasoning
  • Grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°.
  2. Cut the squash in half longways. Scoop out the seeds. Brush the cavity with bacon grease and sprinkle with Creole Seasoning.
  3. Spray a baking pan and put the halves cut side down with chopped onion in the seed cavity. Take a sharp knife and cut 4 or 5 slits, about 1/8″ wide, in each squash half, long ways.
  4. Lightly brush bacon grease in the slits and on the skin side of each half.
  5. Drap the halves with thin-sliced bacon.
  6. Place 1 or 2 onion slices on each half over the bacon and sprinkle Creole Seasoning. Sprinkle the shredded parmesan cheese on the halves until they are covered.
  7. Place the baking pan into the oven and let cook until cheese has browned; usually 30 – 45 minutes, depending on the size of the squash.

Cajun Shrimp Pasta with Sausage ToTry

This recipe was inspired by Make it with fresh zucchini pasta.


  • 1 lb. shrimp
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Oregano
  • 2 tablespoons Olive oil
  • 6 oz cajun smoked sausage (thinly sliced)
  • 10 ounces zucchini pasta
  • ½ yellow onion (thinly sliced)
  • 1 red bell pepper (thinly sliced)
  • 4 teaspoons Creole seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2-3 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • ½ cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup Half & Half
  • 2/3 cup Grated Parmesan


  1. Toss shrimp with salt, pepper, Creole seasoning, and Oregano, and coat well. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and drizzle bottom of the pan with olive oil.
  2. Add shrimp and cook for 2 minutes. Flip shrimp over and cook another minute or two. Then remove to a plate and set aside.
  3. Drizzle pan with a little more olive oil, add sausage and brown until nicely caramelized, about 4 – 5 minutes. Remove to plate, set aside.
  4. Add pasta to salted boiling water
  5. Lower heat to medium and add a bit more olive oil to the pan, add the onion, red bell pepper, Creole seasoning, brown sugar, and a generous pinch of salt. Sauté until onion and pepper have softened a bit, scraping up any browned bits that you can. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  6. Add crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, and Half & Half. Bring to a simmer, stirring and scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan, simmer a couple minutes.
  7. Once simmering, add Parmesan and stir into sauce. When Parmesan is blended in, add zucchini and sausage and stir to combine and heat through, 2 – 3 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste
  8. Add shrimp.

Zucchini Bread like Ina’s

June 2020 – We have a bumper crop of zucchini this year and Mary made great loaves of bread with it. The recipe below was inspired by Ina Garten so we were not surprised that it is great.


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 3 large Eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 cups zucchini, shredded
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans


  • Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom only of 2 (8×4-inch) loaf pans; the blue baking pan and the cast iron loaf pan.
  • Combine flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cloves and nutmeg in bowl; set aside.
  • Combine sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla in another bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until smooth. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed until well mixed. Stir in zucchini and pecans.
  • Spread batter into prepared pans. Bake 55-65 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans. Cool completely.

Bread & Butter Pickles – No. 4

This was the fourth preparation of B&B pickles but the first in 2020. This has 33% more crisping agent than No. 3 made last year. Other than that this is the same recipe.

Ingredients – Made 6 pints but one broke in the bath.

  • 16 cups of sliced medium to small cucumbers from our garden
  • 1 large and 1/2 of a medium white onion, sliced the same as the cukes
  • 1/3 cup pickling salt
  • 10 cloves garlic, halved
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups apple cider vinegar and 1-1/2 cups of white vinegar (we did not have enough apple cider vinegar)
  • 2 tablespoons mustard seed
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons celery seed
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of Sambal Oelek
  • 2 large jalapenos, seeds removed and diced
  • 1 tsp per pint jar – Mrs. Wages Xtra Crunch calcium chloride granules. [Last year we had 3/4 tsp and the pickles were a little limp. So, this batch has 1/4 tsp more; i.e. 33%.


  1. Slice the cukes and onion with the mandoline. Combine cucumbers, onions, and pickling salt. Add 1 inch of cracked ice. Refrigerated for 2 hours; drain well in a colander.
  2. In a large kettle combine sugar, vinegar, mustard seed, turmeric, and celery seed. Heat to boiling and let rest until the cukes had been in the refrigerator with ice for 2 hours. Add cucumber mixture. Return to boiling.
  3. As soon as soon as it returns to boiling, pack cucumber mixture and liquid into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Add garlic, diced jalapenos, and half a teaspoon of Mrs. Wages Xtra Crunch calcium chloride granules at 50% and the second half at 90% full to assure even distribution.
  4. Processed in a boiling-water canner 10 minutes.