Tomatoes and Harvest Begins!

This week found me caught between two seasons – preserving the last of summer flavors and the start of fall with first day of corn harvest.  Wednesday night I came home from church to find the combine in the field.  The combine driver is ready to go as the wedding countdown is almost down to two months!! So, I hopped in “Giant” and road with Kevin as they were “unloading on the go”  – combine does not stop.  fall-2016-unload-on-the-go-3fall-2016-unload-on-the-gofall-2016-inside-giantfall-2016-end-rows

I have been caught off guard with inappropriate footwear twice this week!  Wednesday night I stopped in the field after church to capture the first day of harvest 2016.  Flip flops do not work well walking through the cornfield.  The other day I was on my way home from town when I was needed to fill feed buckets – so I slipped on my grocery sacks.  They do make great emergency shoe covers!  (Still had them handy from sweet corn sales.)


Last night the sunset was beautiful!  This was my view from my kitchen window as I was preparing homemade pizza!



A great way to end a fall day…cuddling with Snickers!

Two of my favorite things to make with tomatoes are Fresh Salsa and Tomato Soup.  The salsa recipe is my sister-in-laws  from the Jansen Family Cookbook!  (Only fitting that I am thinking of her today as it is her birthday.  Happy Birthday Michele!)



Enough cut – up tomatoes to make 32c. (8qt.) juice.  (I usually figure about a 5 gallon bucket full of tomatoes.)

2 green peppers, cut up

6 onions, cut up

6 ribs of celery, chopped

2 ¼ c. flour

1 c. butter

2 c. sugar

1 tsp. chili powder

1/3 c. salt or to taste

½ tsp. red pepper

Cook tomatoes, green peppers, onions, and celery until done.  Put through food sieve.  Melt butter and stir into flour until smooth.  Add flour-butter mixture and remaining ingredients to the juice mixture and cook on low heat until thickened.  Watch carefully so it does not burn.  Put into jars.  Process in pressure canner 5 minutes at 5 pounds pressure.  (I personally only use hot water bath; so I process in hot water bath for 10 minutes.)

I use this tomato soup for the base for my chili or serve with grilled cheese sandwiches.

Sounds like it will still be too hot for soup here in central Iowa yet next week; but we won’t complain as it will be great corn drying weather!

Speaking of produce – I had the pleasure of working in the Iowa Corn booth today at the Downtown Des Moines Farmers’ Market!  It was great to visit with people.  Look who else showed up!  Yes, Emily and a friend – I told her she could have joined me in the booth!