Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Busy in my kitchen....

If I seem quiet, it is because I have been busy in my kitchen. There are so many things still to process before the cold weather hits. I don't want to waste a thing! Each day we are picking tomatoes, peppers, herbs and more! I have been using Julie's recipe for Green Tomato Side dish. I have done a couple of bushels of green tomatoes this way. It smells wonderful in the pot and looks like this....


And here is the finished project for one afternoon....tn_100_4621.JPG

Then the boys pointed out that we were out of croutons ...so I spent a couple of hours making some homemade, sourdough croutons...yummy! I usually only do one loaf of bread at a time....I guess I need to try freezing them and see how they turn out. I put them in canning jars when they are cool....it is SO easy to do and SO much less expensive than what you can buy in the store. Besides...you get to leave out all of those chemicals, preservatives and "natural" flavors.... :)


The two older boys and I made a trip to my friend Pam's farm on Monday. Pam has WONDERFUL berries. Their farm is at the top of the mountains! The berry patch is SO easy to pick in...wide rows...very neat with a lovely rushing creek and many birds to serenade you while you work! They are some of the nicest and friendliest people you could EVER hope to meet. I have been buying from them for years. If you live in NE Tennessee or Western North Carolina you need to visit their berry patch next year! They do not spray their berries and are in the process of getting their farm certified for organic production. Their season is over now but she emailed me to tell me she had lots of Jewelweed. We left Elijah home....the curves are a bit too much for his tummy which suffers greatly from motion sickness. It is the first time I didn't take him and he was disappointed, but we weren't planning on picking many berries and we were wanting to get there and home quickly.

So, I have another batch of Jewelweed drying and will be turning this batch into soap to help combat poison ivy in our family...and hopefully in some of yours :)tn_100_4634.JPG

While we were there I just HAD to pick some raspberries. We managed to find just under a gallon of berries...I am sure I ate quite a bit as I picked. Pam encourages people to do this which is always a wonderful treat. Their berry patch often works on the honor system....there is a small berry house there with instructions on how to pick, weigh and pay for the berries if no one is home. Raspberries are my FAVORITE food in the world. I really need to plant about an acre in berries!

I put out two bowls of berries for Elijah and Josiah today. I planned to take a picture to show you how beautiful Pam's berries are.....as you can see, I am not the only one who loves raspberries...this is what I found when I returned with my camera.


And this is what I did with the berries we picked.....


These half gallon jars are filled with raspberry vinegar. The two jars on the left were made with red wine vinegar and the jar on the right is made with white wine vinegar. I will use this to make Raspberry Vinaigrette, Creamy Raspberry dressing and other things...like a good old fashioned shrub! In the summer, nothing is more refreshing than an old fashioned Raspberry Shrub to drink! I will also be making some Raspberry syrup - yummy for home churned ice cream or to put on made from scratch buttermilk pancakes! Of course, I have still have some in the freezer (from our last picking) for raspberry/jalapeno chicken, pies, breads, muffins, ice cream, sherbert and just plain eating!

I guess you can see that I really meant it about loving raspberries....don't even get me started on the jellies, jams and hot jams that I made....


  1. Wow, makes me wish our 600 raspberry bushes would have produced more than they did this year. Well, maybe next year I will have enough to produce the things you did! Great job! I'm still doing tomatoes,apples, onions, squash, pumpkin ...

  2. Wow!! You have been busy! Lots of good things put by for your family this winter, though. Raspberries are a favorite here, too; but my few canes were all eaten by critters a few years ago. I think I'll look for some more this bare root season. I miss them!

  3. Yummy, yummy...my mouth is watering! Everything looks so good.

    Thank you for letting us know about Zimmermans Berry Farm! I have placed them on my "list" of the many places we are planning to visit. We are looking forward to visitng Sweet Hollow Farm one of these days too.

    God bless you, Cheri.

  4. Don't get **YOU** started on the hot jams?

    Girl, don't get **ME** started!

    Your hot jams are the yummiest I ever had! Now you've got me dreaming about hot biscuits.

    What a wonderful blessing to get them UNsprayed!

  5. Oh! Can you tell us how you make your croutons?

  6. Hi Cheri,

    Okay, I'm terribly curious about Raspberry Shrub. I'm a Yankee and I feel instinctively this is a Southern treat we need up here.


  7. Thanks for sharing. Sounds like a great trip for next summer!

  8. Raspberry vinegar... What a great idea!
    Patricia ~from across the TN line

  9. I think the raspberries look great. Do you know what they variety is? I'd like to plant some and here near Chattanooga certain types do better than others.


  10. Hi Mike,
    I have loved reading about your adventures on your blog! I don't know what variety...you might contact Pam at Zimmermans...she is at the top of the mountains in N.C. though so am sure the climate/elevation is quite different.


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