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My Mobile Home Gourmet Blog

Sunday 2023.10.1

The Last Tomato Plants Chronicle, Maybe

I decided October 1st should be the official end of my tomato season. I harvested the last of the ripe tomatoes, 16 of them. I'll eat those as fruit, which, technically, tomatoes are. Then I trimmed off all of the dead and dying vines, almost down to the soil. Those, along with a few green tomatoes, went into the trash.

So, now maybe it's time for a little more experimentation. That's always fun. I gave the planter a good watering. Should I try to overwinter the plants? Would they survive? Will there be new growth in spring? Or will I need to buy more plants? I put a few green clippings in water to see if they would root.

Somewhat related, I've been concerned the tomato cage is leaning to one side. I set up a plumb line to check it. It was almost perpendicular. A little tweaking satisfied me.

Meanwhile, I put that one-gallon ziplock bag of peeled and seeded tomatoes, still somewhat frozen, in my Kuhn Rikon pressure cooker to finish melting. I love using that pressure cooker. Then I added some herbs and stock.

I also love using my Breville PolyScience induction cooker. Rather than trying to adjust the flame to the ideal temperature beneath the pressure cooker, I set a digital temperature on the induction cooker. It's easy. And it's set-and-forget. No need to monitor it every few minutes. I cooked the tomatoes at high pressure for 30 minutes. After the pot depressurized naturally, I tasted it. It's good soup.

I'd prefer a smooth soup; so out came my Vitamix. I love using that too. Thirty seconds at medium speed was enough to purée the soup. I poured it, a few cups at a time, into a sieve and pushed it through with a spatula, leaving behind the few seeds still in the soup.

The flavor of the soup is excellent, which makes me want to grow tomato plants again next year. I put 10 one-cup servings in the freezer. It's not shameful. The bag of tomatoes was in the freezer; so this was sort of like an exchange of space. The bag actually took up more room because of its round shape. The servings of soup are flat and therefore store more efficiently.

I can see why people with large gardens take up canning. If I had a few acres of land I'd probably have a big garden and can my produce each fall. There is something very satisfying about growing your own food and putting it away for enjoyment later. I plan to really savor my soup with grilled cheese sandwiches this winter.

Rethinking My Aprons

I've blogged several times about embroidering patches for the aprons I use in my cooking videos. I've been disappointed the patches don't show up. They're too low.

This week I removed all the patches from the aprons I'd done so far and repositioned them higher. Hopefully, in future videos my logo patch will appear.

Furthermore, yesterday I stitched patches on the last two aprons. They're all done now. Next I need to decide whether or not to sew a patch on a few of my shirts.

The First Frozen Foods Chronicle

A friend of this web site sent me a link to a video, the title of which was The Freezer of Shame. Ah me. Yes, I admit it. It's a good thing you can't see my face right now. However, I'm doing something about it.

As mentioned in last month's blog, I put a big sign on my freezer door — EAT FROZEN FOODS. I even added a second piece of paper on which to record the frozen foods I eat. That way, I hope to encourage myself by observing my progress. Using up one frozen pizza doesn't look like an accomplishment because the box is still the same size. But seeing my list grow is proof of success. I do better if I'm answerable to someone, or something, like this Blog.

So look for regular reports, and maybe a photo or two, as I chronicle my efforts to eat up the foods in my freezer.

And another thing: I don't like the routine of asking myself every evening, "What shall I have for dinner?" So, after looking at my inventory of frozen foods, I put a menu list on the side of my refrigerator. Now I know what's for dinner every evening of the week. It might seem a little silly, but even the little silly things can add up to an accomplishment over time. A foot race is won one step at a time.

My Next Project

When I get around to it, my next cooking task is to gather up all the bags of chicken trim in my freezer. Put those in a pan of water, preferably my pressure cooker, with a mirapoix of onion, celery and carrot, plus some herbs. Cook for a while to make Chicken Stock for soups this winter. It won't gain me a lot of space in the freezer because the trim comes out and the stock goes in. But I'll use the stock — if not for soup, then for rice.


Yawn. Another threat of a government shutdown going to the deadline before someone blinks. Two parties at war, each trying to make the other party look bad in advance of elections. I can't help wondering what this country would be like if government actually governed.

Next year's shutdown showdown might be more interesting because it will occur only a few weeks before the national election.