Friday, October 05, 2012

Mofo 5: Stop! Tomato Time!

This time of year is always a blessing and a curse for me... I love the bounty of my tomatoes, and my apple tree, and my cousin's quince tree... But I am also constantly haunted by the feeling that there is Still More Canning to be done!! Starting with tomatoes, the annual can-a-thon has officially begun.

As you can see, the tomatoes were going crazy around here. Our whole driveway is lined with about 9-10 plants, plus 3 more in the planter box up front. I did my first batch of canning about 3 weeks ago... actually it was the night before we left for our honeymoon, and I was out picking tomatoes and canning. Nature waits for no woman!


A couple of days ago, we were having some freak heat wave, and it was 106 degrees at our house. However, when I took my thermometer out to the driveway with me, the mercury shot all the way to the top - above 125F! Obviously that was just right there where the heat of the driveway was reflecting on the tomatoes... but still. My tomatoes were basically just cooking on the vines. They were HOT when I was picking them! I'm not even sure raw foodies eat food that has been warmed to 125 degrees! That meant I pretty much had to do my canning right then.


Yes, it is absolutely crazy to can, with giant vats of boiling water, when it is the hottest day of the year. So, at least I waited until dark... opened some windows, and got to work.

In the end, I made a big batch of pasta sauce: 5 medium sized jars and 4 giant jars. We don't eat tons of pasta anymore, so this should last us a while.

Plus, I have a cupboard bursting with plain old stewed, diced tomatoes. Nothing else added. I usually can enough tomatoes to mostly get us through the whole year. In fact, I have one jar left from last year.

With all this canning done, I've pretty much used up our tomatoes for this year - though there are a few left that we can enjoy on salads and such. I'm sure this won't be the last tomato you'll see on VE&T this fall. However, I'm still planning one more Big Tomato Day. I'll pick up a flat of "seconds" from my friend Jane. She and her husband grow organic, dry-farmed tomatoes, which are absolutely amazing little ruby-red bombs of tomato-intensity! I plan on roasting those, and then canning them in smaller jars. I use the roasted tomatoes when I want to seriously add a tomato blast to a dish I'm making... plus they make great gifts!

So, the tomatoes are almost done... which means apples and quince are up next. By the time MoFo is over, I hope to have a pantry full of canned goodness!


24 comments:

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    1. Whoa tomatoes! Your tasty winter will be an awesome reward for the work you're doing now. I love seeing all of the those jars stacked in the pantry. I hope to learn to can someday.

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    2. canning is a lot of work, but it's not hard at all Nikki! It's really fun!!

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  2. Home-canned tomatoes always accepted as gifts if you feel you truly have too many! Need pumpkin? And I have more jars of various sizes if you want them.

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    1. Rest assured, Momsie! You'll be getting your fair share of canned goodies!! :) xo

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  3. Wow, I would love to have a pantry stuffed full of homemade pasta sauce!

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  4. I think you just entered the next level of veganism with that many jars of home-canned tomatoes. Color me impressed.

    I also have a lazy dog that always sits with me in the kitchen. She gets in the way, but she's so cute I can't help but love her.

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  5. Not gonna lie, a crazy heat wave sounds kinda nice right about now. :) And I've been in the overload-of-veggies situation before, but to be honest, gardening just doesn't do it for me. I definitely miss the deliciousness, but it's so much work. Power to you!

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  6. If I was your neighbor, I would steal from your pantry. Or, I would be extra nice to you so you would share your treasures.

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    1. ha ha. We actually used to have a little neighbor boy who would sneak over on his hands and knees (below the level of our office window, or so he thought!) and eat our tomatoes. He was totally obsessed with them. It was slightly annoying, but also extremely adorable! I mean, little boys obsessed with tomatoes is really pretty cool!

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  7. Oh MAN. When we had the heat wave, I was so happy we were making dips, because the thought of turning the stove on at all was seriously horrifying. I am so amazed that you were slaving over a pot of tomatoes!!

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  8. Damn, that's a fine looking stash of canned tomatoes!

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  9. "Yes, it is absolutely crazy to can, with giant vats of boiling water, when it is the hottest day of the year. "

    So true, but in a few months, we'll be so happy we did it! Yours tomatoes look delish!

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  10. Have you ever done a post just on how you can? I grow a ton of tomatoes too, but still have no idea how to do it. I find the whole process daunting and intimidating. I'd love to hear your take on how to do it sometime, assuming you haven't written about it before. :)

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  11. You are amazing! I have never, ever attempted to can anything but looking at your haul, I really want to. I think I'm just worried about the jars being sterile.

    Good luck with the rest of your canning adventures!

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  12. Honestly, I blacked out after I read "quince tree". I would LOVE to have a quince tree! Oh man, I would make a whole batch of quince paste every forkin' day! That's a lot of canning you did - you should get a medal for that!

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  13. haha i love the title of this post! and wow! what a great stash!

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  14. I am so jealous (in the OK way, not in the yucky way) that:
    1. your mom posts on your blog regularly...HI MOM!
    2. your tomato yield is off the hook!

    Our tomato yield was super pathetic this year, and I put some many in! I think I may just plant dahlias next summer.

    xo
    kittee

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  15. I was really hoping to have tomatoes like this now that we have a garden, but unfortunately our lovely dog loves tomatoes as much as we do, so there will never be a glut like this!

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  16. I love this post--so jealous of outdoor gardening space. All those lovely tomatoes...imagine the possibilities. Little Stevie Wonder is such a great sous chef.

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  17. I have MAJOR tomato envy!!

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  18. Holy crap, and I thought it was impressive when I put down 10 jars of sauce this year!

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  19. Holy smokes!!! Tomato world :)

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