Monday, April 5, 2010

Recipes for Your Home-Grown Produce

Growing food for your family is easy. Using all that food is hard. This spring and summer, I'll have plenty of blogs about preserving your harvest.
For starters, how about a few of my favorite recipes:


Farmer Fred's Fruit Smoothies 
To enjoy this delicious drink throughout the year, vacuum seal and freeze your excess cherries, mulberries and blueberries. Cut excess pluots and peaches into chunks; seal and freeze. For tender, juicy fruits such as mulberries and cherries, freeze them for about an hour first, and then seal them in bags. That way, there's no squished fruit! Experiment with other fruits, including plums, apricots, cranberries and nectarines!

Add ingredients to a blender:
One cup of your favorite homegrown fruit. My favorites for smoothies include mulberries, cherries, pluots, blueberries or peaches.
One and a half cups orange juice or apple juice.
One cup vanilla yogurt.
One-quarter cup non-fat milk.
One banana.
Six tablespoons soy protein powder (optional).
Blend thoroughly. Refrigerate unused portion.

Makes 40 oz, about five servings.
175 calories per serving.
30 grams carbohydrates per serving.
7 grams protein per serving.


Farmer Fred's Fresh Salsa Recipe
2 lbs. of very ripe tomatoes (Celebrity and Ace are good choices; paste tomatoes such as Viva Italia and San Marzano have the advantages of ripening at the same time and are easy to peel)
2 to 4 warm to hot peppers (I use moderate heat peppers such as Inferno, Numex Joe E. Parker and Anaheim...and I remove the seeds! And wear rubber gloves!
Don't touch yourself...or people will laugh!)

One-half of a home grown onion (my favorites: Stockton Red, Stockton Yellow)
One-half cup fresh cilantro (remove stems)
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tsp. sugar
2 tbs juice from a fresh lime
Garlic salt (to taste)
Dice the tomatoes. (or use a food processor...very briefly)
Chop the peppers, onions and cilantro in a food processor.
Stir all ingredients, including the garlic, sugar, garlic salt
and lime juice, together.
Makes about 3 cups.


Farmer Fred's "Sweatin' Up A Storm" Chili
This chili recipe took first place in the 1984 Sacramento Media Chili Cookoff. The Secret? Home grown ingredients, especially the tomatoes, peppers, garlic and onions!
For best results, use paste tomatoes. Recommended varieties: San Marzano, Classica, Viva Italia, Polish Linguisa or Roma VF.

3 medium onions (Stockton Red)
2 mild green peppers (Yolo Wonder, Flamingo or Gypsy)
3 stalks celery
3 cloves garlic
1 serrano chili pepper (remove seeds)
1 jalpeno cili pepper (remove seeds)
1 Fresno or Anaheim chili pepper (remove seeds)
For sadists and mosochists only: Leave the seeds in the peppers.
8 lbs chuck, coarsley ground
30 oz. fresh tomatoes (peeled and cored)
15 oz. tomato sauce
6 oz. tomtoa paste
7 oz. diced green chilies (canned)
2 or 3 fresh bay leaves
2 Tbs fresh oregano
4 Tbs fresh cilantro
1 Tbs fresh parsley
1 Tbs cayenne pepper
6 oz. chili powder
1 Tbs crushed cumin seed
12 oz. Mexican beer (You may consume 6 oz. of this directly)
12 oz. spring water
Add garlic salt to taste
Add Tabasco sauce to taste
Dice and saute first seven ingredients. Add meat; brown.
Add remaining ingredients.
Add enough water just to cover the top of the ingredients.
Cook for three hours on low heat. Stir often.
Makes 24 servings. Freezes well. Supply diners with sweatbands.


  1. Yum! I've converted many a coworker to gardening with my homemade salsa. That chili looks lethal though. Yipes!

  2. 8 lbs. of chuck? The next time the Sandinista Army pays me a visit -- I'll keep this recipe in mind Fred.

  3. We had a dog that chewed my moms fruitless Mulberry below the graft. Now it fruits unless it's trimmed in the (forgive me Analisa)"scalped" type fashion. I've never liked the taste of the fruit and my mother hates the mess the birds make on her car, sidewalks and everything else so I make a trip over to trim it back each year. Maybe a freezer full of smoothie goodness is enough incentive to stop the scalpings...

    Changing trees lives for the better one blog post at a time, nice work!

  4. A tip on how to preserve mulberries:
    put a big old useless white blanket beneath the mulberry tree, when the fruit is ripe. Shake the tree. The fruit will fall onto the blanket. Two people grab each side of the blanket, and direct the fruit to a baking sheet (it helps to use a baking sheet that is bordered with a low lip). Spread the mulberries on the sheet in a single layer. Put the baking sheet into the freezer for about an hour. After they have hardened a bit, put a cup's worth of mulberries into a vacuum seal bag. Seal the bag shut. Place the bag back into the freezer. Mulberries for a year!

  5. If you're the only one to enjoy the smoothie, don't worry— pick up some popsicle molds at Target and turn the excess into frozen treats!