Thursday, August 9, 2012

Homeschool Garden to Kitchen

Day two of All Saints Catholic Home School and we are falling into a nice pattern. With a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old, I am not going to be overly rigid, so I set out a plan of what to accomplish on any given day and then find the most opportune times to fit it into our day.

Fresh from the garden!
As rural folk, we grow much of our own food and have also attempted to almost completely eliminate anything processed from our diet. My ex-farmer husband turned biomass energy engineering guru, still has the urge to grow a 'crop' so we always have WAAAAAY too many tomatoes and other produce. One way to remedy this situation is for me to make my own spaghetti sauce and tomato paste. Here's where practical learning comes in once again.

The kids have been involved from the very first seed planted this spring. When we jump on the 4-wheeler to check the mail down our 1/4 mile driveway, we always come up the back way and 'check Papa's crops'. Yesterday, Papa (on a break from his home office) took the kids out to the tomato patch just outside our back door. They picked a LOT of tomatoes! That meant it was time to preserve them before there was any waste - waste not, want not!

The 'recipe' is easy:
Straining out skins and cores.

  • Cut tomatoes into quarters - don't worry about peeling or coring
  • Place into a large stock pot (low heat/simmer) - or crock pot (high) and cover with lid
  • Cook all day and then strain to remove seeds, skin, and ends.
  • Return to pot and reduce to desired concentration - no lid.
  • If you are making paste - reduce until a thick, pasty consistency is achieved.
  • If you are making spaghetti sauce - allow to thicken to desired consistency.
  • Some batches are made plain and some batches also have additions of fresh garlic and basil added.
Botany class - weeds vs. flowers identification.
  • I never add salt or sugar.

Tomato paste stored in re-purposed baby food containers.

Number printables - FREE

We also worked on the letter A and the number 0 (zero).

Do you pray and say the pledge of allegiance before class?

We do!