Monday, June 4, 2012

Goodies for the road

This time around we have more experience under our belts heading out.  On our last trip we typically ate instant mashed potatoes with canned veggies, easy mac&cheese, and assorted pastas. 
This time we are traveling in the summer, so we plan to visit local farmers markets very regularly, and roadside produce stands.  I shop at the local farmers market here and for $5 you can get quite a few days worth of vegetables and fruit.  I am so ready for watermelon season! 
I've made 8 quart jars of different batches of granola~ even two chocolate varieties to satisfy my sweet tooth.  I have a great article I tore out of an Oprah magazine with directions to make popular varieties of granola or where to buy if you don't like to DIY.  Its very simple though, just rolled oats, honey, canola oil and various nuts and/or dried fruit of your choice.  Instead of honey you can use maple syrup (amazing!!) or agave nectar... and add a bit of molasses to help make clusters.
I found this recipe for making condensed tomato soup, and I followed the suggestion of a commenter who omitted the butter & flour and just blended the tomatoes up and cooked again a bit longer.  I ended up canning 12 jars of it and had a batch for dinner.  Just like store bought, you mix one part tomato soup and one part milk, water, or broth.  If adding milk I think you have to add some baking soda to keep the milk from curdling, but I add broth or water.  The texture was a bit off and could have benefited from another go in the blender, but Trey loved it and he doesn't like the store bought kind.
 Trey made a huge batch of tomato sauce which we canned 11 jars of  it.  Last year we ended up using cheap jars of sauce which usually had strange ingredients in it.  I went to Costco and bought 3 huge jars (like the ones restaurants use) of dice tomatoes and tomato sauce for only $3.50 each.  When factoring in price of jars each one was about a dollar or so to make.  Not bad, and its ingredients are only tomatoes, onions, extra virgin olive oil and some spices-we can add more spice when heating up.

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