Adventures In spaghetti sauce land

Adventures In spaghetti sauce land


About two weeks ago we got 6 bags, 55 oz each, of good tomato puree for 1.99 / bag. Man, what  were we to do with all this tomato puree? 330oz, or 10.3 quarts, is a lot of puree and thankfully we had our Presto roaster/slowcooker, It holds 22 quarts so naturally we decided to make a ton of spaghetti sauce. I whipped out the handy Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. And said, well shoot that is a great start, but the recipe calls for whole tomatoes and I do not know how to convert from whole to puree?


This was a conundrum I was well suited to fix. You see, I spent many days at the heels of my father, the chef; and my Great Grandma, who lived on a farm (born and raised, then as an old school farm wife) for the first 1/3 of her long life. So the knowledge on how to make spaghetti sauce was an easy thing, but canning was where I was lacking! How long? What method? You know, the very basic information needed. In comes Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving to the rescue. Found out the very easy to follow specifics on page 405 of the spiral bound version I have. Now armed with a loose recipe and knowledge to can this mass of tomatoes, away we go!

Speed bumps in the road
With a mass like this we were unprepared to tackle the mission at hand. Sure we had the tomatoes and the roaster/slowcooker  To our dismay, we have all this puree and a vessel to slow cook the heck out of it, but nothing else. But we lacked empty jars, herbs, half of the meat, garlic, and last but never least, the cheese.  WinCo Foods  to the rescue. They have a great selection of bulk items, including herbs and spices. So the very lovely and talented missus Garden of the Geeks ran off to get some herbs, etc. She got Basil, Oregano, ground beast, some hardened cow milk Parmesan style (sadly this was not in the bulk area), & 4 large lovely green bell peppers. What about Garlic you say, well that came from the local Asian market. They have the best prices on garlic! It was 4 Dollars for a pound of peeled and cleaned garlic. Heck yeah, it is also on the way home – another bonus for the overworked Mrs GotG!

After a trip to the old Costco right next to the WinCo Foods to get a bag of large tasty white onions for 6 dollars, we began. First we added the puree to the roaster/slowcooker  and it was full. Oh man I was getting worried we would not get it all in there but on with it anyways. Next dumped the herbs in, about 1/8 cup each, pressed 20 cloves of garlic in (could use more to be honest). Let that cook at 200 on the slow cooker overnight to permeate the flavors all throughout and some evaporation to occur. Thank goodness we did as it gets kinda scary later on. At this point it was time to brown all 6 lbs of ground beef, and cut the 4 large Onions and bell peppers into tiny little pieces. Thank God for my Hamilton Beach Food Processor & Vegetable Chopper  it made short work of the veggies.


At this point it was starting to make my whole house smell super tasty. Now the real challenge: fitting the 6 lbs of ground beef and the 2 lbs ground pepperoni into it ..Yeah that was not happening!

Sauce Pre meat and Cheese

This is where I used my children as guinea pigs (insert evil laugh). I scooped about 2 quarts worth out and added some of the meats to it and made spaghetti dinner……It was a hit, they loved it! And as a bonus, with the sauce I scooped out of the way, I could add my meats to the cooker, and let it slow cook overnight one more time.


The next day we started the arduous task of canning it. We have a nice large All American Canner .It will can a lot at one time but in this case we had more than even it could handle. It has a capacity of 14 wide mouth quart jars – that was almost enough. But it takes almost 3 hours to can one batch once you figure in time to come up to pressure and time to naturally depressurize and cool down enough to handle. So after 2 runs we were done and all of them sealed, all 18. So with the 2 qts we used and these that was 20 total quarts. NICE! We came in at about $1.20 / jar when all was done. This is a great cost for good healthy spaghetti sauce, no artificial junk in it.

Finished Product

Thus ends our adventure. Would we do it again, you might wonder? The answer is a resounding HECK YEAH.


Some of the links are Amazon Affiliate links!

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In the MemeTime Volume 2

We are doing this series on Tuesday after getting over the dreaded Monday start. Just short little Meme to make you laugh and hopefully bring a smile to your face! Short little episode will hopefully share at least chuckle among us.

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Update Sorta Kinda . Well we have merchandise!?

Well we have merchandise finally, OK so it is t-shirts at this point.
WE are trying 3 major ones, We are trying this to help raise funds to do more projects and videos around here so we can learn and pass that knowledge on.

Explore Designs by Garden of the Geeks on Redbubble
Garden of the Geeks Logo
“Wild Bacon T-Shirt” & Wild Bacon Premium T-Shirt

There will be more to come on Amazon ASAP because to date i like their interface better, and i can get designs on both sides of shirt. DO not currently have a shirt with a design on both side but we are working up to it. I think our logo on the back might be kinda cool.

AT some point i would love to be able to afford to start our own store and bring it all in-house. That will have to wait till we can Get some sort of extra income coming in. Then we will be a one stop shop for Geeky, Gardeney & Nerdy needs( I hope).

Tell Us what you all think!

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Garden of the Geeks Journal Episode #2

Here we go just a short Video Showing of a new item form the Urban Farm we got going here!

This is Episode 2, Episode 1 is in the works had audio issues Having to re-shoot it on less windy day with better mic.

Affiliate link to Items:
Sun Joe CJ602E – GRY 15 amp –
Power Cord –

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Shot a couple videos this weekend — That failed

Shot a couple videos this weekend for YouTube and here on this website, that was a fail.
Sound quality was below sub par could not hear me at all. Wife did great job shooting. Our camera is a Canon Vixia hf r62, did crap job recording sound. Looking into remedies for that as we speak on our limited budget but it is gonna be a week or two?




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A CliffNotes Version of My Story So Far

Let me start off by saying that I have wanted to homestead for 18 years now. Many have the roadblocks been. Worry not, I will share the sordid and sob-worthy story here Starting after this brief message from my sponsor, ME!

My background is a PC nerd. I started with PC’s back in the early days when Dial-up was a thing. Some of you might wonder what this archaic term is, Let me Explain, Dial-up was when you actually had a phone in the house wired to the wall so 90’s right. You would hook this phone line coming from the wall to these massive things called desktops, more on those in a later post. Laptops were toys of the super rich back then. So anyway you then dialed what we called an ISP (internet service provider) the desktop modem made a horrible racket, you then were on the internet or something called BBS (bulletin board system) , Some of you laugh some of you are going WTF is a BBS. That is another topic for another time. Back to the explanation, so after all that it would take at least 2 to 5 minutes to load most pages with heavy picture load. That was my internet! Side note when I first got into PC’s BBS was only thing around. The World Wide Web (WWW Or Also known As the Internet) was not available to the public yet, that happened in 1989.

So naturally with a background in PC’s ranging back to the mid to early 80’s of course I was a geek, I also loved several nerd show like Doctor Who back in those days. Tom Baker is the best Doctor, just saying!
I had also developed a passion for gardening thanks to my Great Grandma. She taught me many neat things. For example always use B1 when transplanting to help root shock. This woman could grow a forest in two weeks from one seed. Her green thumb was amazing, the effortless way she took care of her house and garden plants was awesome. To this day I’m still thankful for all she taught me.

Ok enough side tracks.

In the early 80 to mid 90’s I did not have my own pc, they were way too expensive for me as we lived on food stamps and not much more than minimum wage. My mother was a single Mom after father left. Please do not clap for her or say ‘way to go’ single mom. She may have been a single mom but she was not a good one. The conditions I grew up in were at best neglectful. This is why My Great Grandmother played a pivotal role in my upbringing. For without her I would not be the man I am today, but anyways, due to conditions in apartment and due to lack of funds I never had a pc that was let’s say current. I had to live vicariously through a friend that did (Tom) and we loved it. We would spend hours on BBS’s at his house playing old school games like Pimp Wars. Reading whatever articles the admin posted learning scripting, And networking with lofty dreams of running our own BBS one day soon. That never happened.

This went on for many years till Tom moved away. After that, a period of about 4 years till I could touch a PC began. At this time I had been shipped off to CO to live with my father and stepmother and a friend of mine. Got a 486DX running at 33MHz. It had this new mind blowing OS called Windows 3.1 HOLY SHIT that was the neatest thing I had ever seen in all my life! We tore into that once again by first hitting up the BBS scene as it was still strong and going then, so right back into it we dove. He introduced me to the most mind blowing thing ever AOL (America Online). I was floored by the info and access to chat with people from everywhere; that was amazing!
My friend was cool enough to loan me his old Commodore 64 at this time. It was like being back at Tom’s House. This I knew this I could do. This may have been a step back but I knew this very well.
Naturally the 1’s and 0’s began to flow into my veins again, from there I went to this archaic place called a library and tried to find info on everything PC related. Sadly that was a fruitless effort. Most libraries of the time did not have a single book on anything pc related. Back to the WWW and BBS’s I learned a lot form those hobbyist sites that were still around till the mid 90’s or later.

Many years later, ok so only 3. I was back in Arizona living with the aforementioned Great Grandma, it was at this time I got my First PC that I ever owned, an old 286 with a CGA monitor Sure it was many steps back but it was all I could afford and it fed my addiction to the PC. It was here my education truly started. I had read all kinds of thing but never got to do them really, so without fear I tore in that machine and upgraded it and used some serious jiggery pokery to get many things to run on it that should not have, like Windows 3.1 for example. The best upgrade had gotten for it in the 1 year I had it was the “SX now” chip form Kingston. It made it possible to run windows 3.1 on this machine. After spending almost 400 dollars back in the early to mid 90s to make this thing still not relevant I was able to get an amazing new chip AMD K6 166!
400 to me was a lot of money at the time. in fact still is!

I saved a fortune to get this New CPU as I had to build the system myself. I needed a case, CPU, motherboard, ram, and HDD this cost me almost 300 dollars at the time. It took awhile for me to save up for it. Funny thing was still rocking the CGA monitor. It looked like a hot mess. So back to saving and then back to the used store to get VGA card and 14 inch VGA monitor. Woohoo I was styling now. And even with the crap hardware I had I still was able to keep learning.
So I had moved to Tempe AZ at this time and finally get a job in the PC industry man I was so happy to be in a Compaq shop building a crap ton of PC’s a day, Learning more and drooling over the newer tech. Was kinda sad when I got home to my K6 166, still loved it all the same though.
Though all of this I never stopped learning and was and still am amazed at the new tech constantly churning out on daily basis.

Through all of this my love of all things Geeky never waned, they in fact intensified,. I was into things like Sci-Fi Not (SyFy cause that is lame re-branding), comic books, anime, PC’s of course, Con’s, And Cosplay. And still love to garden growing my own food.

This brings me to late 1999 at this point lost job as I had to abandon ship to get away from company that got sued to dust. Never really went to school other than short stint in Al Collins Networking classes when they first started, they were a joke and that is yet another story for another time! But it is relevant as to why we are so behind right now! I was unemployed and not able to find work because I did not have degree to show I knew what I knew. And not having any money to speak of I could not afford a real school and get a Bachelors degree. I moved in with my father and stepmother again back in Denver area in early January 2000.
It was during this time I fumbled from job to job not really able to get my foot in the door in my chosen industry. Then one day got lucky, a temp company I was with got me a job at Big Blu (IBM) man that was living the dream for the 6 months I was there. Hated every second of it by the way. Yet another story for another time. When contract ended I had a foot in the door doing many other short term contracts finally back in industry I loved. Finally one day got a job that was supposed to be temp-to-hire but after 6 years there never got hired. I was hired as desktop support but worked way after buyout by larger company to SYS admin of an ASIA PAC domain. That ended after 3 years of SYS Admin goodness.

After that ended I was jobless and did more temp work. It was about this time we bought our first place in Thornton, CO: a Handy man special Mobile Home that we were able to pay off in 3 years. Not able to sell it when needed but did help us save to move to AZ and where we are now.

There are a lot of details I left out and I am sure I will get them out here soon if interest is shown. Needless to say it has been a long hard ride some bad decisions made along the way. A lot of impassable hurdles. Partial physical disablement in there, with a side of great wife and kids to balance it all out.

Through all of this I never stopped loving tech and most things geeky (Furries creep me out), and never stopped loving gardening and the idea of self-sustainability.
I want to get to the point I can share what I learned and am learning with others to bring back self- sustainability. That is why we are trying to get setup homesteading on such a large plot of land (40 acres). With the acreage we can lean and share what works best in several situations we can create on the land mimicking what you might run into on a smaller plot.
We will get there just gonna take a lot of money at this point . Will detail that in later posts.

Well thank you for reading this far.

Will update If more interest is shown via the comments

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Humanure – turn your waste into compost!

Composting toilets may sound “icky” at first, but really it’s no more icky than sending your waste to a facility to get treated with chemicals, and then sending it back into the water supply… Composting human waste is arguably cleaner than the conventional flush toilet, and it provides nutrients to your plants.

Composting toilet in public restroom in Sweden

I’ve read a lot about composting toilets but I’m not ready to build one yet. So I just signed up for a virtual class to expand my knowledge and give me the confidence to design our own system. If you want to sign up to learn about it, you can also join! No matter where you live, there will be information you can use. The fee is very affordable too, just go to

This class will teach you:

  • How different types of site-built and commercial composting toilet systems work
  • How to safely operate and maintain a composting toilet
  • How to permit a composting toilet in Arizona & guidelines to engage regulators if you live elsewhere

Composting your waste is good for the environment! It saves water, and eventually your ‘recycles food’ gives food and nutrients to your garden. I understand some people don’t like the idea of using this kind of compost on edible plants, but you can still use it on non-edibles like flowers or ornamentals.

Happy composting!

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Macon Bacon Bits Again

Macon Bacon Bits Again

For those whom missed it the first time and on my other site I will lay out the Process here if done from Raw

1. First thing is to partially freeze uncooked raw bacon
2. Cook bacon no till it is super crisp but fairly done
3. Soak up as much grease as you can at this point
4. Lay out on Dehydrator tray you can pack it sorta tight 5. Put in dehydrator set for jerky. Making sure to take it out every so often to pat off grease.
6. Weigh out in 1/4 lb increments
7. vacuum seal and add to freezer for longest storage time

WE got Lucky and got 10lbs for 19.99 at local store..
Then today was making shopping list after starting to dehydrate bacon and see this.

Man 50% off what we paid for it. Guess we gotta get more!

Please feel free to join use at the following AS well
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P.S. Wish the web had smell-O-Vision Cause my house smells Great, I would love to share that with you as well!

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Woohoo Free Stuff

Have a Account Here HomesteadingforNoobs we are giving away a 1 month supporter subscription to it Just use code:  PUFFUPTHEYHATETHAT . Code is valid till 03-10-2021

Check us out need to hit the 100 mark to upgrade community to offer more features to all of you!


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Hello from Zekrom975

My “Geek categories” are video games, books, TV shows, and tabletop games. Some of my favorite video game genres are fantasy, RPG, RTS, and futuristic. I particularly like fantasy RPGs. My favorite book genres are fantasy and sci-fi.

Favorite tabletop game: Dungeons & Dragons
Favorite author: Brandon Sanderson
Favorite book: Ender’s Game
Favorite video game: Starcraft 2
Favorite TV show: Cobra Kai
Favorite movie: Tron: Legacy

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