Wednesday, August 4, 2010

While The Sauce Was Simmering

It simmers for an hour with me smushing the tomatoes with a potato masher every 15 minutes.  Between smushings, I found other things to do:
1.  Liquified Tomatoes

I chopped up the remaining ripe tomatoes on my kitchen counter, filled the blender and pushed liquify.

I added more tomatoes and pushed liquify again.

100% tomato juice, skins included. 

I poured this into a quart freezer bag.

I keep bags of frozen liquidfied tomatoes in the freezer for chili during the winter.

2.  Made Basil Cubes

I coarsely chopped the remaining basil leaves I had harvested Saturday morning and packed them into an ice cube tray.

I poured some olive oil into each cube.

I made sure the basil was down in the olive oil with a wooden spoon handle.

Then, I put the ice cube tray in the freezer.

After they froze, I popped the cubes out and put them into a freezer bag.  When I make soups, I can just grab a cube for every tablespoon of chopped basil in the recipe.  The olive oil will start to thaw as soon as you touch it when you grab a cube.

3.  Checked Soaker Hoses

It has been hot and dry lately at Garden on Sherlock Street.  I ran water to the soaker hoses in the garden Friday evening, Saturday morning and Saturday evening.  You can hook soaker hoses together to cover a large area as long as you aren't trying to run the water uphill.  We have 11 soaker hose hook ups in our garden.  I set a timer and check on the progress every hour or so with a long metal rod.  I push it into the soil to see if the water has soaked down enough.  When I'm satisfied that a bed has enough water, I move the hose from the faucet to another hook up. 

This was the first time we needed the soaker hoses this year.  I usually have to use them sooner than this.  One of the soaker hoses had a blow out (they're made from recycled tires so I thought that was an appropriate term.)  I think we step on that hose when we go to the front water faucet and it slit in one spot.  In general, the soaker hoses are pretty durable.  I leave them out year 'round.  They're even more efficient at delivering the water when they have mulch over them.

4.  Photographed Geraniums

I spotted the container with red geraniums that I moved out onto the straw earlier this summer for more sun.  It is looking good.

Those are just a few of the things I did while the tomato sauce was simmering.


  1. I had never seen anyone freeze basil cubes before. What a good idea.

    Been meaning to try growing some herbs but never get around to it.

  2. Oh. You're suppose to be productive while something is simmering? I usually have a pint or four. I'll try this the next time I whip up some chili. It never occurred to me.

    Also, how far apart do you lay the soaker hoses, meaning how far from the hose does the water spread? I'm thinking I may have to switch to soaker hoses once we've packed in enough plants, as drip emittors for each one seems cumbersome.

  3. Honestly, you bloody people with your bloody red tomatoes! Spare a thought for those of us with bitter green bullets, and at least pretend you've failed a little bit!

    I'm with Turling. Sauce simmering = beer time.

  4. You are as busy as a bee! I need to get to putting up my tomatoes. No basil here but those cubes are a great idea.

  5. ~Marnie
    Basil is super easy. I usually have to prune it just to keep the blooms off. I hardly use it all. I give it away as much as I can and make basil cubes.

    I have a hard time sitting still.

    It varies on the soaker hoses. If you're doing a row of trees, drip emitters are probably more efficient but we wound them through our junipers and now they water the ground covers I'm getting established under the trees. Also, the richer your soil, I think the better the water spreads. My new beds with a lot of compost seem to soak more evenly than the shrub/perennial border. I usually adjust them a couple of times before I find a good layout. Even during this run, I noticed a bed where I've added more plants that needs more hose to go back and forth. Sometimes, I let them loop around stuff.

    Does it make you feel better if I tell you many of my early tomatoes had blossom end rot and were tossed?

    The EVOO keep the basil from getting black in the freezer. And, if a recipe has one, it usually has the other.

  6. I know your kitchen smelled wonderful with all that fresh basil. You are so smart and efficient to have the tomatoes and basil ready for cooking.

  7. Great post.... And the basil cubes are pure genius.


All comments go through "comment moderation." You will not see your comment on the website immediately. I want to read every comment. By using "comment moderation," I won't miss a single one. Thank you for visiting "Garden on Sherlock Street." Happy gardening! ~Gardener on Sherlock Street