Home Grown

Tomatoes galore, and tips for great goulash

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Every day I’m excited to check out my garden, as things are really starting to get going now. I’ve gotten a few bell peppers and a couple salsa peppers, and my onions are ready and waiting to be used whenever I need them.

My tomato plants have taken over most of the garden, intertwining with each other faster than I can clear a path, but it’s hard to complain with all the tomatoes covering the vines. I’ve already collected two pails full of tomatoes plus three large tomatoes that are bigger than anything I’ve ever grown. Each one of the big mammas, as I call them, is bigger than a softball and weighs over a pound.

I’ve always been lucky to have a pantry stocked with at least a few jars of canned tomato juice. My mom used to have a huge garden and would always have shelves of jars full of canned goods she’d happily pass along whenever I needed them. I loved having them on hand for chili or goulash.

Eventually, I started my own garden, and it slowly grew to the point where I had enough to try canning on my own. I started out with salsa, and I liked playing with the flavor using different peppers. I’ve also done spaghetti sauce and tomato juice, but I’ve never had enough tomatoes to do much more than a batch or two of anything.

Unfortunately, I just realized my section for canned goods in the pantry is almost empty. I’m completely out of salsa, and I’m down to only one jar of tomato juice. My parents moved from their house with a large garden to their new house in town with no garden last summer, so restocking my pantry is going to be up to me.

Thankfully it looks like my garden is up for the challenge! I already have enough peppers and tomatoes to do a batch of salsa, and it won’t be long until I have plenty for a batch of tomato juice. I’ve already talked my mom into helping me with canning some tomato juice. I’ve done it before, but it’s always more fun to do it with someone else.

This week I’m sharing my recipe for goulash. It’s a very simple recipe that’s easy to throw together on a busy night. Many of you may already have a goulash recipe of your own, and if you do, check out the tips on how to change it up to make it a little different. Enjoy!

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