Sunday, August 23, 2009

Tomatoes Tomatoes Tomatoes… and Cats!

Yesterday was a busy afternoon. Final count: we have 26 quarts of plain, whole tomatoes. The only additives were a tad of salt & lemon juice. These should be tasty in chili, soups and more this Winter. Mr. W set up the turkey fryer on the front porch of the Barn/Cottage and ‘scalded’ tomatoes so we could skin them easily. What a huge timesaver! He proceeded to help with the ‘mater-skinning process, and I finished up canning by about 9 pm last night. Next time, we might move the entire canning process out to the porch.

Thanks to my parents’ contributions of their surplus tomatoes, we had plenty to work with. Our tomato plants are just about dead from the blight/fungus. Hopefully by next year I can figure out this problem and what to do about it. Perhaps I can start a new, separate tomato garden. It’s a thought.

26qts

I’m trying to ignore the fact that we could have gone to ALDI and purchased all the tomatoes we wanted for 50 cents (more or less) a can. But they wouldn’t be so pretty. And they wouldn’t be local.

It had been so long since I’ve canned/preserved, I had to use a reference book I purchased several years ago. I originally purchased this book because it was pretty, but it actually is chock full of great, practical recipes. Looking through it actually made me want to preserve more. Perhaps grape jelly tomorrow. Our grapes are ready and we’ve had possums in them every night snacking. Time for them to share, don’t you think?  I think this book is out of print, but available used from Amazon and others.

CanPresBk

Henry and Hazel have been growing like little weeds.  They’ve been teasing the donkeys lately by running across their pen, and then running safely into the barn just in the nick of time before Ruby and Gracie catch up to them. If possible, I’ll try to get some video of this cute little trick. However, I’m getting a little worried they’ll cut their escape just a little close one of these days.  Little devils…

henry_aug

hazel_aug

Hope your weekend is an enjoyable one. We are still loving the cooler temps here! 

sig3

18 comments:

Jackie said...

Those tomatoes are so pretty and I'm guessing will taste so much better than the Aldi ones!! Using the turkey fryer to scald the tomatoes is a great idea. We never get enough to can anything...just enough to feed us and a couple of neighbors through the summer...maybe someday.

You've had a busy weekend so far...hope you enjoy the rest of it.

Jackie

Debbie said...

Oh I am jealous of your kittens!! I miss mine. Um and I am also jealous of all the lovely tomatoey goodness that you have canned.

Keeper of our Home said...

Your jars look beautiful! We too have had a time with our garden due to the drought. Thankfully we did water enough on our own to yield a good harvest this season. I am looking forward to next years garden already.

~Mrs. M

Sue@CountryPleasures said...

Nothing compares to home grown and canned!

Carrie of Farming On Faith said...

Yum~they look wonderful!
I am sure they will taste better than Aldi's tomatoes.
Have a wonderful Lord's Day~
Carrie

OsageBluffquilter said...

I wish I had that many tomatoes in my pantry. I am at anyone's mercy for free tomatoes. I did get some put up.
Maybe some will fall from heaven yet.
Your jars are beautiful!
Isn't this weather beautiful!!!!

Elle Bee said...

Tammy, your tomatoes are much more beautiful than anything store bought! I love that gorgeous color. You are smart to consider moving the whole canning operation to your porch--it heats up the house so.
Your kitties are quite the little mischief makers aren't they! I love it.
Elle

Beyond the Nest said...

You did a wonderful job with canning tomatoes! They are so pretty in their jars and will be much appreciated when it's time for soups and chili. It is quite a production, but you've inspired me to start making marinara sauce today with the romas that are ripening (finally). Cute kitty cats, too! Our outdoors cat (who comes in for food and lovin') came in the other day with his paws smelling suspiciously of corn. We asked ourselves, is he becoming a vegetarian? After further investigation, there seems to be one less sneaky raccoon that's stealing our cache-no material evidence, just a hunch. Have a great day!
Karen

Q said...

Your tomatoes look wonderful!
Nothing is better tasting in the winter than your own canned tomatoes. Plus so much better for you!
I throw mine in the blender and pour into freezer bags! Canning is prettier....
Love the book will look for it.
I also am loving the cooler temps. I think Mother Nature is teasing us with the promise of Autumn.
Sherry

Mary Ann Miller said...

Doesn't it just give your heart a little thrill to see those beautiful jars all lines up? The fruit of your labors! The pictures are so beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

COUNTRY MOM said...

Tammy, Thank You for your great comment and visiting my blog. Hope you will come back. I love your blog and your header.
What great looking tomatoes. I wish we had a garden, maybe next year. I love possums. I didn't realize they would eat a garden.
Hope you are having a great day. Many Blessings,

Prim Rose Hill ©2008-2009 said...

Your tomatoes will taste SO much better this winter than any canned ones! And they look so red and delicious in their jars. I love your kitties....I have one similiar to the gray tabby, but mine's 17 now. (I call her my "little senior citizen", haha). Great job canning!

Hugs,
Sheri

Shelby said...

those tomatoes look divine! cheers :)

Life is good! said...

there is something very satifying about see the fruits of your labor! they look beautiful

Cheryl and Carman said...

Yummy tomatoes for the winter!!
Kittens are sure getting bigger, what cuties!

Lynn said...

Your tomatoes look delicious, and I'll bet they'll be way more flavorful than anything you could buy. Plus you know exactly what went in them (and what they were or weren't sprayed with :) ). Great job on getting all those done! We have 7 tomato plants and so far I've made soup and dried a bunch in the oven, on low heat. I borrowed a friend's dehydrator yesterday so will have to give that a try :) Thanks for the recommendation on the book, too. It IS really pretty! I'll have to look for a copy.

Martha said...

Lovely tomatoes and the pride in having shelves full of vegetables that you put up is priceless!

And besides, they really do taste better than canned!

Gwenieann said...

Oh my goodness your tomatoes are simply GRAND! I have had such fun this year trying out new ways to can various variety of tomatoes. I think my favs are the Tomatillo's and making the Salsa Verde. It was toooo yummy. However, the salsa made exculsively with yellow tomatoes was very tasty too! So much produce so little time. This weekend it is canning serano's and goodness knows what else. :-)

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