Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Auntie Dorcas' Tomato Juice
Auntie Dorcas’ Tomato Juice
Dorcas Annette Walker
It never fails to surprise me how different threads of life intertwine and push you in a new direction. Making up a batch of tomato juice was the last thing on my mind until last week I received a call from a lady in Cookeville– who shall remain nameless in case anyone that hates tomatoes should decide to throw rotten tomatoes in her direction- asking me if I had a recipe for tomato juice. I searched in vain for a recipe so I began doing research. I was amazed at the high nutritious content in tomato juice. Then I came down with the flu. One day when I was having trouble keeping anything on my stomach I remembered an old home remedy how tomato juice can help settle an upset stomach. I drank some and was amazed how quickly it worked.
Meanwhile about a year ago my niece, Stacy, was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. It came as a total shock as Stacy had always been healthy. She was in college at the top of her class, spent a semester in England as a transfer student, and became engaged to her high school sweetheart. Stacy at first figured that the stress from her schedule was the cause. A local doctor made her symptoms worse with is wrong diagnosing until Stacy was able to see a specialist. For months she went to a wound clinic for deep oozing sores on her leg that wouldn’t heal. I’m all for the latest medical science, but sometimes home cures work when nothing else will. I told my sister to have Stacy soak her leg in Epson salts and the sores began to heal. Right now Stacy is run down, a pale shadow of herself, who had to quit her job while waiting for the insurance company to agree to the treatments prescribed to get her Crohn’s into remission.
My sister and I have been taxing our brains with foods to build Stacy’s weakened body back up without setting her system off. Remembering how the tomato juice helped my stomach, I called my sister that I was going to make up a batch of homemade tomato juice and promised to send her the recipe. I decided to call it Auntie Dorcas’ Tomato Juice in honor of Stacy. I’m determined to get Stacy back on her feet and healthy by the time she walks down the aisle as a radiant bride next April even if I have to bring her down to the mountains of Tennessee and doctor her myself.
My Auntie Dorcas’ Tomato Juice is so packed full of vitamins that nearly jump out of the glass. This soothing blend of eight garden vegetables creates a supper wallop of nutrition perfect to start out your day. There are zillions of recipes for fruit and vegetable juice enabling one to make their own homemade blend. You can substitute or add red & green peppers, cabbage, lettuce, watercress, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, or lemon juice to suit your taste buds. Preparation time for my Auntie Dorcas’ Tomato Juice is 4½ hrs (not counting canning time) and this recipe makes around 18 quarts.
Auntie Dorcas’ Tomato Juice
25 lb box of ripened tomatoes
2 lb bag of carrots
stalk of celery
1 qt canned red beets with juice
1 bunch of fresh spinach
4 large onions
3 cloves of garlic
½ c parsley flakes
½ c sugar
4 tb salt
1 tb pepper
Peel, chop, and puree all the vegetables including the parsley flakes adding water as needed in a blender or food processor. Scald tomatoes in hot water to loosen skins then liquefy. Add sugar, salt, and pepper. Pour into a large canner and bring to a rolling boil that you can’t stir down. Then simmer for thirty minutes. Pour the hot juice into clean canning jars and process for fifteen minutes.
Weekly tip: A ripe tomato has a uniform color. You can ripen tomatoes by placing them in a paper bag for a day or so. Then store in a cool place, but not the refrigerator!
Dorcas Annette Walker is a published author, columnist, speaker, freelance magazine writer, and photographer from Jamestown, Tennessee. Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more recipes check out her Creative Tennessee Mountain Cookin blog at: www.dorcasannettewalker.webs.com