Friday, August 19, 2011

Homemade Roasted Tomato Sauce

I found myself with some tomatoes on my counter this morning and I thought I should make some roasted tomato sauce for my freezer. Such a simple task; the house smelled like heaven. And all of this by 7 am.

There is no measuring to this recipe, I am just using what I had in the house. First, preheat your oven to 375°- 400°. Next, spray a pan that has a rim with cooking spray. I am using the bottom of my broiler pan. Then I rough cut tomatoes. No need to peel the little buggers. Cut into pieces about the size of an egg. Add some onion and garlic. And no need to peel the garlic either! I also added a half a red pepper that was about to go bad. Drizzle with a little olive oil and toss with your hands. Place into the preheated oven and let them roast away. I like to stir them after 45 minutes or so. And I roast them until the tomatoes are melted away and the edges start to brown. Or in this case 'black.' This may take up to an hour and a half. The mixture will be thick and gooey. Allow to cool. If your garlic still has its papery skin, pop it out. Place everything into a blender and puree. Sometimes I add a little water to make a looser sauce.
To freeze the mixture, I like to put it into an ice cube tray and tap the tray in the counter to get the mixture to settle evenly. Place into the freezer for a couple of hours. When it is frozen solid, pop them out and store in a Ziploc bag. Each cube is about 1/4 cup. (I use an ice cream scoop to fill the ice cube tray)
And now I have Roasted Tomato Sauce in my freezer. Some times, when I have zucchini or mushrooms, I add them to the party. But don't tell my husband... he does not like zucchini or mushrooms. This recipe is very versatile. Feel free to season with herbs, salt and pepper, or leave out the onion/ garlic. Make the sauce the way you want.

We have plenty of tomatoes for u-pick. The cost is 90¢ a pound. We have red and yellow brandywine, old German, early girl, big boy beef steak, roma and patio varieties. And we have peppers too... bell, sweet Romanian, jalapeno and anaheim for 25¢ each.

And our Fall blueberries are ready! They are so sweet and yummy. The price is $1.85 a pound for u-pick.

Have a good weekend.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Closing early this Saturday (August 13, 2011) and the tomatoes are ready

We are hosting a private event Saturday afternoon... so we will be closing at noon. We will be open for regular hours on Friday and Sunday.

And look at what I picked in the hoop house today! 28 pounds of tomatoes! These are going to our local school, Sauvie Island Academy, for their back-to-school BBQ. The school will be opening as a charter school this Fall and the community is excited to bring some stability to our neighborhood school.

We have plenty of tomatoes for you to pick this weekend. The price is 90¢ a pound. We have early girl, red and yellow brandywine and romas ready to go. And we still have a few boysenberries for u-pick. We are finished for the year with raspberries, marionberries, currants and blackberries.


PS That big tomato in the first photo weighed in at 1 1/2 pounds! It is the largest yellow brandywine to date.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


I recently defrosted my freezer, hoping I could take a berry inventory while I cleaned. I found an over abundance of blueberries so I thought I should make blueberry muffins...and help reduce the number of bags of blueberries I was hoarding. I found my most favorite muffin recipe, the one from my Aunt Verna. And I made miniature muffins because they are so cute! Just adjust the baking time down to 12 to 15 minutes. I watched them like a hawk while they baked. Partly because they smell so good but mostly because I am not patient. Half of my muffins had three blueberries on top and the other half had a cherry. Yummy!

Now... let's get to that recipe.

Blueberry Muffins
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup oatmeal
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 tea. baking powder
1/2 tea. salt
1/4 tea. baking soda
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 cup blueberries, marionberries, cherries or a combination
sugar and cinnamon mixture

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the orange juice and the oatmeal; stir well and sit aside. In another bowl, combine the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. In a small bowl, mix the oil and the egg. Add the flour mixture into the OJ/ oat mixture. This will be very dry. Stir in the oil/ egg mixture and stir just until mixed. Add fruit of choice and fill 12 regular lined or sprayed muffin cups 2/3 full. Sprinkle tops with sugar and cinnamon mixture. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean. Allow to cool before eating. (That's the hard part!)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sauvie Island Fruit Company


This is a local product that we are now selling in our market. They offer five flavors of jam; marionberry, raspberry, strawberry, black raspberry and triple berry. They are wonderfully,creammy and lucious on a freshly toasted Engish muffin.
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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri Mix

I found this easy recipe in the Oregonian years ago and we love to make these long after the strawberries are gone.

2 cups sugar
1/3 cup lime juice (2 limes)
1/4 cup water
1 quart fresh strawberries, washed and hulled

Combine the sugar, lime juice and water in a bowl. Stir to mix and let set until the sugar is dissolved. In an blender or food processor, combine the sugar mixture with the strawberries. Blend until smooth. Pack into a freezer container and freeze. (use an ice cream scoop for mixing drinks)

For each daiquiri: In a blender, combine 3 Tab. rum, 1/4 cup frozen daiquiri mix and about 7-8 ice cubes. Blend until smooth. (most blenders hold up to four servings)

For a virgin daiquiri: substitute lemon-lime soda for rum

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Spinach and strawberry salad

Today is the first day of summer 2011. To celebrate, just imagine these ingredients combined together for a refreshing summer salad. Spinach, basil and strawberries.

For the dressing:
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tea. sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 tea. black pepper

In a small food processor or blender, combine the garlic, basil, vinegar and sugar. With the blade running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until emulsified. Season with pepper. Store in the refrigerator in a glass jar.

For candied nuts:
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
3 Tab. butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 tea. black pepper
1/4 tea. salt

In a skillet, cook and stir nuts in butter until toasted; about 5 minutes. Remove from heat , stir in sugar, pepper and salt. Pour onto a plate and allow to cool. Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator.

For one serving,
about 2 cups of washed spinach
1/4 cup chopped strawberries
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 Tab. candied nuts
a drizzle of basil dressing

Enjoy today!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Berries and Cream

This is a quick and easy dessert recipe. We spoon this onto any type of berry...strawberries, blueberries, mixed berries, even fresh peaches. I will be serving this at our Fathers Day get together.

Berries and Cream
1 cup cream
1/3 cup sugar
1 tea. vanilla
1 1/2 cups sour cream
3 to 4 cups berries

Mix the first four ingredients in a bowl. Place berries into individual serving bowls and top with the cream mixture. Serves 6-8.

Here is a little secret... my oldest daughter likes to fill the hollow core of a raspberry with the cream mixture and pop it into her mouth. That is just too much work for me. I like mine in a bowl.

Raspberries and blueberries will be late this year. We are looking at early July before the fields are ready for picking. And of course the marionberries and boysenberries will be late too. Our tomatoes in the hoop house are setting fruit so... red, ripe tomatoes are not too far off.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

The strawberries are ready!

We will open our strawberry field for picking on June 10th. We have honeoye strawberries available this week. Our hood and puget reliance varieties will be ready for picking around the 15th of June. U-pick is $1.35 a pound and ready picked is $2.10 a pound.

The weather has been nice the last couple of days and we have planted a new field of strawberries for 2012, and we have all of our pumpkins planted too. Our tomatoes in the hoop house are blooming and setting fruit. We also planted basil, cucumbers, peppers and flowers in the hoop house. A bountiful harvest is fast approaching!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

High water and it is almost time for strawberries

We went for a drive on the island yesterday to look at the high water. The Columbia River is running at 17 feet. Meaning 17 feet above sea level. Which is not very high... unless you live on Sauvie Island... where some parts of the Island are below sea level. This first photo was taken at the entrance path to the clothing optional beach. As you can see, the water is covering the base of the sign and lapping at the gravel road. Another foot or so in the river levels and the road will be covered.

We traveled to a friends farm where the cows are enjoying water front property. They look so relaxed even though the water has covered the top of the fence.(Today, the water has gone over this road we were standing on and has flooded the wheat field on the other side.)
This last photo shows some cows standing on an island surrounded by flood water. The farmer has been feverishly trying to move all of his cows to high ground. The water in this field is only about a foot deep but the cows don't want to stand around in water.

And... strawberries! We will open on June 9 or 10 with Honeoye Strawberries. The Hoods and Puget Reliance berries will start around June 15.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A nice spring day!

Today is beautiful! I would like to share a few photos from around the farm. The first photo is the outside of our HUGE hoop house. Next is the inside... can you see all those tomato plants?
And my daughter watering in our greenhouse.
And what is that HUGE tent in our parking area... Columbia Farms is hosting a dinner, dance and auction for the new charter school, Sauvie Island Academy this Saturday. What fun! I hope you can join us for a very worthy cause.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

A little snow and a little sunshine

The new year is off to a rolling start. Last nights snow is beautiful and serene; snow seems to change the pace if life on the farm to a more deliberate walk. Changes are happening on the farm as I write. We are installing a hoop house to grow our tomatoes. I hope this eliminates the amount of fungicide I have to apply, as the plants will be guarded from Oregon's summer rain. I also hope we have tomatoes much earlier then mid- September; maybe as early as the first part of August. If you have a favorite variety of tomato you would like me to grow, post a comment and I will see about planting your request. Until next time, enjoy this day.