Monthly Archives: September 2011

viney wreaths oh my!

my favorite so far. a circle of honeysuckle and grape vines

My husband and I bought our house 2 years ago and it included about an acre of slightly unruly woods in the back part of the yard. At first I was overwhelmed by all the vines and thorns and weeds.. etc… After opening my eyes I have noticed that not everything was out of control, or at least not everything that was out of control is a bad thing. Take for example all of the lovely wild grape and honeysuckle vines. I have been collecting them over the past couple of evenings and have turned my gatherings into lovely wreaths of all unruliness and sizes. It is pretty easy, but does take a little patience and some room to move around. The only direction there is , is to wind the vines in a circle around each other. play. have fun.

And now, I CAN NOT WAIT to begin decorating them! Stay tuned , I will be posting photos.

Let the fun begin!!!!

 

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Oven Dried Tomatoes

oven dried tomatoes

oven dried tomatoes

This year I got a beautiful bounty of tomatoes with out much gardening effort. Most of my plants came up on their own from the seeds of the “no good” fruit that I left on the ground last summer. I don’t like to see good food go to waste, so I have been canning, freezing and now oven drying tomatoes for the last 6 weeks. This oven drying preservation, is my personal favorite, considering the ease of the process and the wonderful richness and sweetness it brings out in flavor. Here’s how (and believe me, it is EASY!)

What you will need:

tomatoes ( i used small ones from my sweet 100’s , which are my absolute favorites to grow.)

baking sheet

an oven

parchment paper or silicone baking mat

sea salt

What you will do:

turn oven on to LOWEST heat setting, whether this is 100 or 200, you want to dry them out SLOWLY over a long period of time

place parchment paper or silicone mat on baking sheet

slice tomatoes in half

lay tomato halves, skin side down, on your paper or mat, making sure they are not touching each other

sprinkle with sea salt                  

place in oven and bake for 6-8 hours, or really depending on how long it takes. And I am not going to lie to you, IT DOES TAKE A LONG TIME. So be patient.

Check every hour or so to MAKE SURE THEY DON”T BURN, but are completely dry.

You can store them in the fridge for about a month, or in the freezer for about 6 months.

That’s it. You’re done. I’m addicted and want to eat them on everything now, so I’m off to make some more……..

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