I am so lucky that I have three farmers markets within 30 minutes of my house. On any given weekend I can take a short drive and find anything I may need.  This trip I needed tomatoes to make a couple batches of my homemade spaghetti sauce since we didn’t have much luck with what we planted this year in our garden.

Not only do I love visiting the local markets but I absolutely love the array of colors and shapes lines up in neat little rows of the vendors tables.  I grabbed my camera as I was heading out the door this morning and was so glad I did.  I get so excited at all the fresh fruits and vegetables I always come home with more then what I go for but the photos are my favorite.

On my list today was a bushel of Roma tomatoes, green peppers and half a bushel of a stewing tomatoes.  What I came home with was a bushel of Roma tomatoes,  8-quart basket of green peppers, small basket of jalapeno peppers, 8-quart basket of crowder peas, basket of sweet corn, and a half a bushel of stewing tomatoes.

As I was driving home I realized that I had a full day ahead of me and I was second guessing my purchases! Thank goodness I decided to do it on a Saturday and hubby was home and already done with his Saturday chore list by the time I got home.  After cutting wood all morning he jumped in to help me.  He is such a good sport and he really was a big help.

After he helped me put the Roma tomatoes through our hand crank juicer he went right in to do some research on how much it would cost to buy an electric juicer.  I didn’t think it was so bad putting them through the juicer but I didn’t stand for an hour and turn the handle…all I did was wash and cut them up as he cranked away.  The good thing is with him helping me today I bet I get an electric one for next year!

As I was getting things lined up to make a few different recipes hubby sat down to start shucking the peas. He wasn’t too happy with that job but again he was a trooper and just about shelled them all himself.  It was a long busy day but I am sure happy to get so much done today.

  • 30 quarts of spaghetti sauce
  • 8 pints of salsa
  • 9 small jars of hot pepper jelly
  • 4 quarts of stewed tomatoes
  • 10 bags of Crowder peas
  • 1 gallon of chopped green peppers for freezer

I worked long and hard to come up with my own spaghetti sauce recipe. We like our sauce a little sweeter so after months of trial and error I finally found one my family loves.  This is my recipe and most of the canning details are in my head but I at least wanted to share the ingredients if anyone wants to give it a try.

Tracy’s Garden Fresh Spaghetti Sauce
Makes 14 quart jars

  • Half a bushel basket of Roma tomatoes – juiced down to 8 quarts of juice
  • 7 cups pureed onions
  • 7 cups pureed sweet green pepper
  • 2 pureed jalapeno peppers
  • 4 stalks of pureed celery
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 14 small garlic gloves pureed
  • 14 tablespoons fresh ground basil
  • 14 tablespoons olive oil
  • 64 oz of tomato paste
  • 2 large jars of grated parmesan cheese

Mix all ingredients bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cook for 1 hour.  Pour in hot jars and lids.

So as I sit here with my feet up the smell in the house is wonderful along with the sight of all those jars lined up on my counter. Makes my aching feet and back well worth it.  I still have to clean the stove and mop the kitchen floor but that can wait until after church tomorrow.   Hopefully the good Lord will be ok with just a little work on Sunday.

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