Lunch Time

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Is It Soup Yet?

Mrs J brought in a 5-gallon bucket full of tomatoes and then went back out for another half-bucket.  I put the juicer to work and filled a 12 quart pot.  I watched it closely while it simmered because a boil over was likely.  It finally reduced enough to start adding onions and spices and chicken base.  My calculations told me that when the juice was reduced to 3-1/2 inches it would amount to 6 quarts of soup.Ta-Da!  It’s not much compared to the math those ladies did for the Apollo program but it sure impressed the kitteh boys…… not that they’ll admit it.

Mmm… Fresh Tomato Soup From Scratch

 

Mrs J picked some tomatoes the other day, enough that it was worth the trouble to bring out the juicer:This is a Breville unit, and it makes juicing a snap – separates the skins and seeds and fills the little container with juice and foam.  Dump the juice into a big pot and start boiling.  It will can foam over at first so you have to watch itWe started with about 5-1/2 quarts, added a pureed sweet onion, a dash of ground cloves, allspice, some chicken base, salt and pepper, and reduced that to about 2 quarts.  Don’t go overboard on the spices, it is going to concentrate the flavors as it reduces.  They do add a great aroma to the kitchen!  You can always add more when it’s thick enough.  I suppose you could add thickeners to it and not reduce it all the way, I may test that with the leftover soup to stretch it out some. Add a grilled cheese sammich and you have the classic lunch.  I had some odds and ends of cheese so I used them in these, a bit of Swiss, provolone, cheddar, Monterey jack, and American.  Olive oil is a tasty substitute for butter when you grill.

Tidbits

Lasagna!  Each of these holds just enough for two.  I used egg roll wraps again for these because I am lazy and they work very well.The layers were Italian sausage in tomato sauce, plain ricotta with a couple of eggs whipped in, and various shredded cheeses.  We ate these right away, the others were portioned and frozen, then sealed in vacuum bags.Kittehs!  Mrs J says they have a good crop at the shelter – nearly 30 that are still with their mommas.Smoked chicken, just out of the smoker.  No seasonings other than granulated garlic.  I bought a case lot of those aluminum pans a couple of years ago and they have proved handy.Ginger Boy has filled out, he’s not as big as Toby but that’s not from lack of appetite.I canned a bunch of tomato soup one year, put it up in quart jars.  That is the perfect amount for two servings.  

Lunchtime!

20170105_113312-1600x1200Made the tomato soup from a big can of those San Marzano tomatoes.  I found a couple of 280z. cans in the bargain basket at Kroger a while back and this last one sat in the cupboard till I had this flash of inspiration.

Mince a carrot and half an onion and sweat them down in butter in a sauce pan.  Sprinkle a bit of flour on the veggies and stir for a minute, then add chicken stock and a can of tomatoes.  Season with celery salt, a pinch each of nutmeg, ground cloves, and black pepper and bring to a simmer for half an hour or so.  Let cool a bit, then puree in a blender or with a stick blender.  I like the stick blender because it’s easier to clean up.  Add more chicken stock if it looks too thick.  Some folks like to add cream right before serving but I never did eat it that way.

Tidbits

20160807_150949(1600x1200)I’ve always called these things pink ladies but I assume there are other names for them depending on where you live.  They usually come as a surprise, seemingly showing up overnight.20160809_173126(1600x1200)This sloppy joe sammich got a bit of crunch added with the corn chips, it’s akin to Frito pie in that regard.  I like the way the slaw turned out so much I ordered a salad spinner for the method  the recipe spells out.  It calls for a salt and sugar “cure” that has to be rinsed off before the dressing is added and the excess water needs to be removed.  I’ve been letting it drain onto tea towels.20160811_120157(1600x1200)More BELT sammiches.  I’m frugal so I toasted the heel ends to make this one.  The tomato bushes continue to yield the big slicers that are perfect for them.20160813_104840(1600x1200)Speaking of tomatoes, we juiced a couple of five gallon buckets full of tomatoes and spent the day boiling them down to eventually can 7 quarts of tomato soup.  That vegetable juicer we bought is still paying dividends.DSC_5514(1600x1200)Gabe has found a new toy that is so much better than the other toys in that box.  Mrs J is so much fun!  She plays with him all over the house!gated gabe(1600x1200)Usually these play sessions result in nap time, whether Gabe is sleepy or not.DSC03678 (1600x1200)Moar kittehs!  I don’t have any additional info on either of these.20160811_164117(1600x1200)More smoked pork with some of that slaw from the recipe I linked to above.DSC03681 (1600x1200)I’ll wrap this up with another kitteh.