I know early November is really “fall” but we got our first snow weeks ago and it’s still with us. And then we got a foot more … and today it’s snowing again. So Will went up and hooked the snowplow onto our old Ford 4×4 truck and made a couple passes out our mile-and-a-half-long driveway. We always wait awhile and let the snow pack down on the dirt and gravel drive so when we plow we don’t toss this valuable asset off into the woods where it is not needed. But enough is enough! Now we have a plowed driveway, courtesy of Hondo and Will.
Meanwhile, I’ve continued grinding tomatoes in our Victorio tomato strainer and cooking down the puree for various sauces. Today I’m going to make another batch of barbecue sauce. It’s so easy and tasty and we use a lot throughout the year. I even use it on meatloaf instead of catsup. (If you’d like a couple of recipes, check out my Growing and Canning book.) Where I’ve always made such sauces, it wasn’t until relatively recently I thought “why not grow more paste tomatoes to reduce the cooking down of juicy tomatoes?” Pretty elementary, huh? So I did just that. Our little seed business trialed several new paste tomatoes and I was thrilled at how thick the sauce was. And this year, I tried mixing a few different tasting tomatoes to make my sauces. After all, not all tomatoes taste the same … or even close to the same. I made my last batch using chiefly G. Chalmers Paste and Bill Bean with Jaune Flamme and Dejena Lee’s Golden Girl mixed in. Both of those golden tomatoes have wonderful, fruity, complex flavors. And so does the puree from them! I really am excited about this discovery — talk about designer sauces. (If you’d like to grow some super tomatoes, check out my article “Tomatoes — queen of the garden” in the Twenty Fourth Year Anthology for lots of tips.)
And, believe it or not, I’ve started scanning through seed catalogs … even before I’ve got our Seed Treasures website revamped for 2018. We haven’t even gotten our tomato cages pulled and I’m sorting out new varieties for us to trial. (We had better get the new garden by the training ring barn up and running for next spring, hadn’t we?) — Jackie