Friday, July 23, 2010

Making Tomato Juice And Berry And Peach Breakfast

Our blueberries are winding down, but Bev still picked about a quart from the last bearing bush and our neighbors had been to the local peach orchard and brought us a bag full. When I say local orchard, I can see it from my front porch in the winter. I’ve seen many peach and blueberry desserts over the years and Bev has one she occasionally makes, so I knew they went well together. I decided they would go equally well in cereal for breakfast and sure enough they did. We’re trying to eat a little healthier. After breakfast it was on to tomato juice making for the first time this year. Check out last years post for our set up. If you like tomato juice and you’ve never had homemade, you better not try it unless you plan to continue making it, because you may never be able to drink the store bought stuff again. A glass of cold homemade juice with a squeeze of lemon and a couple of grinds of black pepper (ours is already salted) is a great way to start the day. We use it for drinking, soups, tomato sauces, etc. We’ve tried making it into a finished product (eg – pasta sauce, vegetable soup, etc) and canning, but find we’re better off making the finished product at time of need, especially since we’re retired and usually have plenty of time to make it then. I like to do 50+ quarts of juice and 25+ quarts of tomatoes, but don’t know if we’ll have enough this year. We’ll use ours for juice first, as the better brands of store bought canned tomatoes are about as good as home canned for cooking. Here they are cooked and ready to juice. A canner full is 7 quarts and we find we enjoy the process more by doing it in 7 quart batches verses an all day can-a-thon – our one draw back is we have to clean up the mess a dozen times instead of just once. Here’s the juicing process underway – modern food mills may work better, but this is the way Dad and grandma did it (using this same equipment), so I just have to continue the tradition. Into the jars it goes. I'm not positive, but I'm guessing Campbell has a little more automated process than this. The canner. Maintain 12# for 10 minutes. The finished juice ready for storage. Starting from ripe tomatoes sitting in our kitchen, it took one person about 2 ½ hours to produce the 7 quarts (tomato prep, cook, juice, can, clean up as you go) – but you can read the paper during the hour they are cooking. I’ve found the book “Keeping The Harvest” by Nancy Chioffi & Gretchen Mead to be a very helpful how-to book for food preservation. If you decide to do some canning, I highly recommend a pressure canner because it is much faster and gets the food to 240* verses 212* in a water bath canner. This higher temp ensures all of the little bad things will be killed. It does require you to stay with it for about 25 minutes, whereas you can do water bath canning from your easy chair. Have a great day and thanks for stopping by. Larry


  1. That tomato juice looks wonderful. I have that coned shape contraption that I drug home from Bob's parents house when we were cleaning it out. It didn't have a stand with it like yours. I'd love to can something some day. It would be nice to find a pressure canner at a garage sale...but I don't go to garage sales. :-) Great post Larry.

  2. I would love that home-made tomato juice... Don't know if I have EVER had any....My mother never made it... I drink V-8 every morning --and enjoy it--but you are right about the store-bought tomato juice... It's not good.

    We put fruit on our cereal every morning. One thing we do is 'mix' several cereals together --in a big container. That way I can have things like All-bran and Grape Nuts ---along with some tastier things. We do not eat ANY of the sugary cereals... BUT--George eats quite a bit of the granola kinds...

    We eat a banana every morning --even when we have eggs... Bananas are SO good for all of us... AND--we put other fruits on our cereals--just as strawberries, blackberries, peaches, etc. (depending upon what is in season).

    Have a great weekend.

  3. Love that you use the old, handed-down equipment - such a great history in pieces like that. And your juice looks and sounds great. I'll bet you make killer Bloody Marys!

  4. You're guessing Campbell's is a little more automated. Now, that's just funny! I've never done much in the way of canning; my boys eat everything!

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