Wednesday, September 10, 2014

New Jersey Sheep and Wool Show

Hunterdon County Fair Grounds served as host to this year's New Jersey Sheep and Wool Festival September 6 and 7, 2014. On Sunday, September 7th we took a road trip down to check it out. Walking into Barn 1 we were able to see the end of the showing and judging of Lincoln Sheep. Beautiful creatures!  After visiting a few of the vendors, we left Barn 1 and the Border Collie Demonstration was going on. The shephard had three Border Collies and was demonstrating their skills and personalities. All so different. She likened them to automobiles. The first was the Hummer, powerful and steady but unsure if you can control and handle. The second was the SUV, reliable, steady and controlable. This one was excellent in following the direction she gave with a whistle. The last was Jet. He was the Ferrari, fast, powerful, and barely controllable. He was so fun to watch. He took off like his namesake, a jet. She then brought out an 11 month old being trained. She demonstrated some training techniques. He did very well.

In Barn 2, 3, and 4 were vendors, spinners, spinning demonstrations, and English Angora rabbits for sale. They were the biggest rabbits I have ever seen! Size of a small dog! There even was an appearance of a famous Sci-Fi icon.

Yes that is Mr. Spock sporting his freshly knitted scarf. If you look closely, you can see he has Tardis knitting needles! Nice job Spock. Live long and prosper (and keep on knitting!). I saw some familiar faces Betty from The Spinnery, Amber from Tailored Fibers, and Verdant Gryphon (featured in my Vogue Knitting Live post). Enjoyed meeting the ladies at Bittersweet Woolery, Hum-Dinger Alpacas, the sheep from Swayze Inn Farms, and all the other vendors at the festival.

Made a new friend (he's a ham posed perfectly for me)

As we were leaving, the parade of sheep by the junior shephards was beginning. The sheep and young shephards were sporting the knitted and crocheted pretties.

Can't wait for next year!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Tomatoes and Sauce...Oh My!

This year produced a bumper crop of tomatoes. My mother contributed her excess tomatoes to the cause. I have been roasting and pureeing tomatoes for a month! I froze the puree until there was enough to make sauce. Today I made sauce.

A large and medium stock pot full of puree. From the sauce I canned 14 pints of sauce and froze 1 quart. 

The darker ones are in blue jars. It makes the sauce look brown, but it is the same as the others.

Yesterday and today we picked more tomatoes.

I will be roasting and pureeing more soon, but not tonight. I am tired! I started before 10 am and finished at 8:30 pm.

Clean and core tomatoes. Cut in half. Place in pan cut sides up and drizzle with olive oil. Add minced garlic and fresh herbs (basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and parsley). Dried Italian Seasoning works well too. 

Roast for 50-60 minutes at 350, reduce to 325 for 50-60 minutes, and then raise to 375 for 20-30 minutes. I check the progress every 20-30 minutes. I find when I have one 9 x 12 pan, the minimum times work. When I have the roasting pan and 3-9x12 pans I need to roast at the maximum times.

Let the tomatoes cool. Process through food mill. Freeze the puree until there is enough for sauce.


Fill large stock pot with puree. Add 1-1/2 cups of white wine (I use Pino Grigio) and two bay leaves. Bring to a rolling boil, reduce to a simmer. Let the sauce cook down. When almost done, add garlic (3-4 cloves) and Italian Seasoning (3 tbsp). At this point the sauce should have reduced 1/4 to 1/3 from where you started. Continue to simmer until reduces some more. Then put on low heat and let reduce some more. When the color is a deep red and it is thick (pulpy), it is done. 

Can - Eat - Enjoy!