Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Canning Homemade Organic Tomato Paste

The first thing you will need is about 50+ Roma tomatoes.

So I forgot to take a picture of this process with my camera, did with my cell phone....but I can't figure out how to get those on here easily. But you put the tomatoes through a food mill, it separates the seeds and skin and leaves you with the meat of the tomato and all its juices. It looks like the picture below.

I filled this pot full and a 2.25 quart pitcher full of the tomato juice and tomato meat.

I used a ladle and scooped out the mixture and put it into the pitcher and then poured it through cheese cloth and a strainer, this helps get rid of all the extra water. If you don't it would take hours to cook off all the extra water. Even doing it this way took a lot of time, if I had a larger strainer I could have done more at one time.

This is what my oven looked like for a whole day, it was hot in the kitchen.

So I used the crock pot on high and it still took hours to cook off the extra water that was left over and to make it thicker.

Once it is thick enough, something about putting it on a spoon and it holding its own, I couldn't wait much longer, it was already 7pm and I still had not put them in the jars yet. (why do they call it canning when you use jars?)

Again forgot to take a picture of my homemade funnel, it was a sports bottle cut in half so it wouldn't spill everywhere. I had the jars in the dishwasher because they were all nice and clean and sanitized, you boil the lids and rims to sanitize as well. Just leave them in there and take out as needed, keeping the water hot. Make sure the rim of the jar is nice and clean, no tomato paste on the rim of the jar.

Pack the jars leaving 1/4 inch at the top and add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to help it not to spoil.
Make sure you have enough water to cover the jars with 1 inch of water in the pot. Boil for 45 minutes, keep a tea pot full of hot boiling water to add to the pot as the water boils off.

Take out and let cool over night, you should hear the lids pop and that is a good sign, that means that it sealed. If the lid can push down and it pops back up then it didn't seal and you should either put it in the fridge to use within 2 days or throw out and start all over again. Thank goodness that all mine sealed. I also canned the left over tomato juice...why not, can be added to soups, sauces when ever water is called for...you could also drink it.

I got 8 jars of tomato paste

and 12 jars of tomato juice. I think next year I might just roast the tomato paste and freeze it, then use the jars and can something else.

The Team

The Team
Originally uploaded by My Presidents

You can see here the team and how much smaller Reagan is compared to the other kids.

Stay tuned, a making homemade tomato paste and canning it post is coming up. It took a lot longer than I thought, I took lots of picture's and I think I would do it again.....stay tuned....


Originally uploaded by My Presidents

Reagan is the smallest kid on the field, but she is NOT afraid to get right in the middle of the big kids and get that ball. She can squeeze her way right in there and just kick the ball out and somehow she comes out with the ball or a team mate does. She gets knocked down, she trips, she gets pushed, but she has a smile on her face the entire time and loves it!!

Friday, September 26, 2008


They fixed the washer and am running a load as I type.....lets hope it stays working for a very long time!!!

This is what I had for lunch, tomato, mozzarella cheese, a little basil, balsamic vinegar and olive oil......mmmmmm so good!!!

Tomatoes from my in laws garden, we are going to can them.

Aren't these fun, Halloween M&M's.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Picture Day

Today was picture day and I thought I would take some picture's before we left to document her cuteness. Notice her new hair cut too!!

So she doesn't like to show her teeth because we like it when she smiles with her teeth....its a power struggle. So every other picture is teeth...no teeth...teeth...no teeth.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Today ---- update

  • Today the washing machine repair guys come and will hopefully fix my washing machine and it won't break down again!! That happens anywhere between 11am and 1pm.
The nice repair man is here and when he opened the new part....you guessed it....its broken. He is going to replace the second part and see if that fix's the problem. I think I could cry, all I want is for it to work, I would love to go out and buy a new washing machine but money is tight and all this repair work is only costing me my sanity and many visits to the laundromat and my parents and in laws home. Second part didn't fix the problem, my awesome Dad came by and picked up a load to wash....I love my parents!!
  • I'm making homemade tomato paste with the abundance of tomatoes from the garden.
    The paste is cooling in the fridge.
  • Reagan needs her hair trimmed, school picture's are tomorrow. Hair is cut and it is cute, short and cute!
  • All out of Lincoln's yogurt. Didn't get to the store, must go after Tim gets home.
  • Sally our beloved house cleaner....she really is so much more than that, but she is sick and can't come today....get better soon Sally!! That means I need to change the sheets and vacuum upstairs.
  • The kids and I are building a barn out of large popsicle sticks, but it is a small barn. We need to finish putting on the roof with hot glue and regular elmer's glue. Finished the barn, I will post pictures later.
  • We joined a gym, Tim goes swimming every morning before work...they open at 5am. I do a couple different group work outs. Yesterday I did something called group power. Its in a large room and everyone gets a bar and can choose how much weight they want to put on the bar if any at all. We work every part of out body and listen to loud music and it feels like aerobics but its not, we do killer abs and boy are my abs hurting. I also do cardio on the elliptical and can do 10 minute miles, I have only gone 4 miles....and that kicks my hind end too. The next thing I want to try is a spinning class, I'm not sure if I'm brave enough. The best part is that they have childcare for 2 hours.....heaven.
That's today, how's your today going?

Friday, September 19, 2008


So, I have been meaning to mention this for a long time, but I always seem to forget.
Lincoln has either heard this on the tv, radio or both it doesn't really matter, but he says "dot com". We will just be going along and all of a sudden he is yelling MOM!!! dot com, dot com Mom, its dot com. It is very funny and I never really realized how many ads that give out web addresses.....but now I do.

The parts are here for the washing machine, but they don't have time until next Tuesday!! Don't they know this is an emergency, and that I really don't care to visit the laundromat? I did find a much better laundromat, it has a tv, the floors are clean and its cheaper and they have an on site attendant. I will probably have to go back on Saturday, just what I wanted to do for the weekend, laundry at the laundromat.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Getting out

We are going to the zoo. I need to escape our home and the endless frustration that I am having with Maytag. So we are just getting ready and leaving it all behind. The washer won't be fixed until next week and there isn't anything I can do about it.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Verklempt – choked with emotion

I feel like Linda from "coffee talk".

She would say, "Talk amongst yourselves," "I'll give you a topic." Maytag Dependability plus is neither a Maytag nor dependable nor is it plus. Discuss."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Sorry no picture, but I will try to get one up soon. He has been barfing up a small amount of yellow foam in the morning, really early in the morning. I figured it was because he was hungry and I was right. We went to the doctor and he told us to buy pepcid in the pill form and give it to him at his evening meal around 8pm. I also brought in a poop sample and they bring me some rocks and some of his kong ziggie snacks pieces. He also didn't have too much bacteria, no coccidia, or giardia, so all of that is good news.

They took an x-ray to make sure he didn't have an obstruction, which he didn't.....just lots of little rocks or debris as the doctor called it.

He is on some special canned food diet to encourage the debris to exit its way out. Hopefully he won't barf tomorrow morning, as you can imagine this whole Ditka barfing scenario doesn't go well with the fact that the washing machine isn't working.

Speaking of the washer, the repair guy called and said that they are going to replace 2 parts this time, the control board and the touch screen. He also wanted to make sure that we hadn't done any electrical work in our home as that could have caused something. Nope, no electrical work here, just a washing machine that doesn't work. Hopefully they will be out by Thursday or Friday, maybe tomorrow if the part comes in, but I'm not holding my breath.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Special teams

That is what my washer looks like, its not my actual washer but that is exactly the same model.
There are 2 teams working on fixing my washing machine. One from Maytag, the service technician senior guys and one from Maytag dependability plus.

The one team from Maytag is actually trying to fix it some where not here. I'm not sure what actually goes on in this team, if they have an actual model on hand and then they start to trouble shoot the problem or they just make suggestions to the local repair guys. But I think they are actually starting to take me seriously when I tell them that I can't live this way.

The team from Maytag dependability plus is who the extended warranty is through. Their team is looking into this to make sure they don't have to replace or pay for a new machine. So, I'm sure they are calling Maytag and saying fix her machine and fix it now. At least that is what I hope they are saying. I'm told that I should hear back from the dependability plus people in 3 to 5 working business days.....so most likely next week.

I think I'm going to try a different laundromat, the one I have been using was fine at first....but it is so grimy and if anything falls on the floor that isn't a sock just has to be washed again because it is so nasty!! Plus last time I went it was packed and there was only one other person who spoke English and well, he was talking to himself the whole time but he was either whispering or just mouthing the words.... a little creepy. I was definitely more comfortable with the nice Hispanic family who's child was running around the place hitting everyone with a sock. I may not have been able to understand them but heck....they didn't creep me out.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

You'll never guess...........soccer update

My washer is broken again. The exact same thing. Something else that is weird.....every time it has broken, has been on a Saturday. Maybe I'm not suppose to be doing laundry on the weekends.....that's it...I'm working too hard. I called repair place and they said they will call Maytag on Monday and try to figure something out??? We have the extended warranty, I wish they could just cut me a check today but I'm pretty sure they have to replace the part 3 times before they will give up. Right now it has been replaced twice, only one more time. I'm not sure what I'm rooting for, for it to break one more time or for it to work great.....its a hard one, I would love a new washing machine, but at the same time I hate being without one. I just want the dummy to work, all it has to do is wash our clothes.....is that too much to ask of a washing machine???

Okay enough said. Onto more fun topics.

Ditka made it up on the slide yesterday and it was very cute.

I'm pretty sure he is thinking....now what am I going to do?

Reagan started fall soccer today with her friend Ian....(by the way, she told me she isn't going to marry him anymore)

Here she is holding hands with Ian, I think they were trying to help each other balance while they had one foot on the ball...what team work guys!!

Update-----I forgot to mention that Tim and Ian's Dad Rob are going to be the c0-coaches. I think the kids are more excited about their Dad's coaching than actually playing soccer.-----

I love this picture, all the kids lined up....so cute.

After soccer we changed our clothes and went to the OSU vs. Hawaii game at OSU. We sat, in the end zone 2nd row, and no one sat in front. Our friend who has the sky box called us and asked if we wanted to come up for a visit at half time.....who would ever pass that up I'm not sure. The kids thought it was GREAT!!

Go Beavs!!! We won, 45 to 7. It was so much fun being in the end zone for the first half of the game.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Obama's actions speak louder than words

I read this article and thought I would share it with you all.

Obama Only Talks Good Game On Gender Pay Equity
From The Seattle Post-Intelligencer

By Deroy Murdock
September 11, 2008

Compensation figures for [Obama's] legislative staff reveal that Obama pays women just 83 cents for every dollar his men make.

A watchdog group called LegiStorm posts online the salaries for Capitol Hill staffers.

Based on these calculations, Obama's 28 male staffers divided among themselves total payroll expenditures of $1,523,120. Thus, Obama's average male employee earned $54,397.

Obama's 30 female employees split $1,354,580 among themselves, or $45,152, on average.

Among Obama's five best-paid advisors, only one was a woman. Among his top 20, seven were women.

Again, on average, Obama's female staffers earn just 83 cents for every dollar his male staffers make. This figure certainly exceeds the 77-cent threshold that Obama's campaign website condemns. However, 83 cents do not equal $1. In spite of this 17-cent gap between Obama's rhetoric and reality, he chose to chide GOP presidential contender John McCain on this issue.

Obama responded Aug. 31 to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's Republican vice-presidential nomination. Palin "seems like a very engaging person," Obama told voters in Toledo, Ohio. "But I've got to say, she's opposed -- like John McCain is -- to equal pay for equal work. That doesn't make much sense to me."

McCain's 17 male staffers split $916,914, thus averaging $53,936. His 25 female employees divided $1,396,958 and averaged $55,878.

On average, according to these data, women in John McCain's office make $1.04 for every dollar a man makes. In fact, all other things being equal, a typical female staffer could earn 21 cents more per dollar paid to her male counterpart -- while adding $10,726 to her annual income -- by leaving Barack Obama's office and going to work for John McCain.

Among [McCain's] top-five best-compensated staffers, three are women. Of his 20-highest-salaried employees, 13 are women.

In short, these statistics suggest that John McCain is more than fair with his female employees, while Barack Obama -- at the expense of the women who work for him -- quietly perpetuates the very same pay-equity divide that he loudly denounces.

To View The Entire Article, Please Visit: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/378772_murdockonline12.html


The tomatoes in our garden have finally started to turn red. I will be enjoying a tomato, basil, olive oil and balsamic vinegar salad today for lunch......Mmmmmmmmmm. Doesn't that sound so yummy!!!

This is cyclopes, he has some sort of hard defect right above the growth (nose), so I put in one of the kid's wiggly eyes to make cyclopes. Isn't he cute?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Republican Swag from convention

This is a very small portion of the Republican swag my Mom received when she went to the convention. She gave this stuff to the kids. She bought the "Wee Publican" t-shirt for the kids and some of the buttons. There is a pin from AT&T but I couldn't get a close enough and clear picture of it. Its an elephant rowing a boat.

I wear the heart Sarah Palin button almost everyday, and everywhere I go I have received positive feedback. In the other button Sarah reminds me of Tina Fay.

The heart button says, "The Life of the PARTY" Republican National Convention, St. Paul, MN 2008. It lights up and both kids love that button, they each have their own and where them often.

She also brought us back AT&T canvas back pack bags, the lanyard she used and a McCain Palin hand sign that was waved around during the convention. I was hoping for a McCain Palin bumper sticker but I will just have to find a local campaign office.

I'm hoping to go to the next convention in 4 years. I have already started to recruit my neighbors to be precinct committee people and to vote for me to be a Delegate. I don't even know where the next convention will be, but I don't care, Reagan told me she wants to go too.

Praying around the yard

Reagan found a praying mantis yesterday, she was so excited and he was very active which is always exciting. We put him in the rose bush.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

My secret weapon

This is my Grabber and I love it. I use it to mostly to pick up the toys. I love it, I can also reach things up high in the kitchen or the pantry, I'm only 5 feet 2 inches on a good day so I need the extra reach. It seems funny to own something that is many marketed for older people but I love my grabber.

My friends think I'm weird but I love it, it saves my back and it really works. I showed my sister in law Leah and she thought it was hilarious, we were stacking cans in the kitchen and having somewhat of an agility/skills contest with the grabber. I mailed her one, I hope she has fun with it. Don't buy it on amazon if you don't have to, I got it at Target for maybe $8 in the "as seen on TV isle", you know with Billy Mays...he sells everything. I think you can also get them at Walgreen's.

Reagan says I need one for the car but I tell her that would be too dangerous.

Monday, September 8, 2008

The new kitchen sink

Here is a picture of Ditka, he is 13 weeks old and is getting better at biting/teething. When we brought him home he weighed 6 lb 8 oz, he now weighs over 13 lb. We go for a walk every evening and I'm really liking that because I have lost 3 lb so far....what's not to love.

Reagan is in love.

Lincoln is in love, although at times he says he doesn't love Ditka but I think that is just because he is 2 1/2.

Okay, on to our new sink. You can kinda see the old one at the top of this photo, I forgot to take a picture. It was a metal sink with a porcelain coating that I had chipped too many times by dropping bowls in the sink. The faucet also leaked really bad, at the end it had a double personality, it thought it was a drinking fountain by spraying water out the back and onto the counter....not cool.

We went to Home Depot and bought a Kohler stainless steel sink and faucet. Tim put the sink in on Saturday and I helped a little. We worked really well together and I would do another home improvement project with him any day.

Tim did such a nice job, I love this man!! Did I mention he also changes the oil in both our cars. He is amazing!!