Tag Archives: tomatoes

Garden and Canning

25 Aug

After the storm hit and mom went to the hospital, I really just wanted thing to be normal.  I’m not sure I remember what normal is anymore, but I decided I was going to can the tomatoes that were getting really ripe on my counter.

Even though I didn’t have hot water, I figured I could can some cold pack tomatoes.

I also went to the garden to see if any Habanero peppers were ready.  They were!

I checked the rest of the garden.  Lots of walnut limbs all throughout the garden.  The worst of the damage was to my bell peppers.  The plants were just finally started to look good and get some peppers with the cooler weather.

Now I’m not sure I’ll get any.  The luffa gourds also took a hit.  I don’t know if the will finish or if they will rot.

Anyhow, I picked more tomatoes.

Then I canned another batch of salsa for my son.

salsa for my son

I decided to just keep canning.  It seemed normal.  I did another four quarts of cold pack tomatoes.  Then I decided to do a vegetable soup.

All the vegetables except the celery came from my garden.

It made the whole house smell amazing!

Since I had dug one hill of potatoes for the soup and got such nice ones, I decided to dig three more hills.  I tried a base of cream of potato soup with them.

I did have one jar that didn’t seal, so I had to try it out.  I was pleasantly surprised with the results.

Then I switched back to tomatoes.

I did two more batches of roasted tomato sauce.

From Wednesday through Sunday I canned almost constantly.  It kept me busy enough that I could almost pretend things were normal.

A Season for Preserving Food

7 Aug

I swear all I’ve done the last couple of weeks is prepare food for the winter.

That includes a lot of mozzarella cheese for me and the family.  I still have to do mozzarella sticks.  I’m also making chevre.

I have plenty of sweet corn frozen.

Some of the goats have taken advantage of my corn shucks being tossed out. Everyone else was still out in pasture.

Dolly and Cookie

Cookie in particular has been good about coming up early to sneak a treat.

My tomato plants are dying; I lost a lot to rot from the hail; I am picking them early to preserve every drop of liquid in them, but I am working on canning the tomatoes that are left.

I have cold pack tomatoes.

I am making sauce for the family now.

I have also been chopping and freezing okra and hot peppers.  This year I decided to try canning my roasted beets with a honey rosemary glaze instead of freezing them.

I just need the Habanero peppers to turn orange so I can make my son’s salsa.

Just as I finish this summer canning, I’m going to move on to the fall stuff because I’m seeing orange in the garden.

I think I might be ready for the first frost this year.

Notes on the Garden

27 Jul

This year has not been the best for gardening.

The garden

I have some luffa gourds on the vines.  I put the panel up for them to climb on because the last time I planted luffa gourds they were horribly dirty and difficult to clean.  I thought this might help them stay clean.

luffa gourd

My sweet corn is not ready yet, but look at all of those ears!  I’ll certainly have enough to eat and give to the family and freeze for the winter.  That is as long as my electric wire keeps the raccoons away.

sweet corn

The weather has not made it easy–from late freeze to cool and rainy to hot and dry.  My poor tomato plants are dying.

tomato

When I planted, we were fairly cool and getting rain nearly every day.  They didn’t put down deep roots.  Now those roots are so close to the surface that the heat we’ve had is just baking them.  It doesn’t seem to matter how much I water them.  I’m hoping that the tomatoes will finish turning even if the plants do die.  I’ve quit weeding in hopes that the grass will provide a bit of shade because the tomatoes are getting horribly sunburnt as well.

I picked a few ripe ones the other day, and I’m seeing quite a bit of hail damage.  Some of the places have scarred over, but others are rotting.

hail damage

I did have enough ripe tomatoes that I decided to play with the new saucer.

tomato juice

It came out as a perfect tomato juice.  I did want sauce, so I decided to drain some of the liquid using cheese cloth.

That helped, but I still had to cook it down for a while.

That takes forever, which is why I went to roasting tomatoes to make sauce.  Anyhow, while I was waiting for it to cook down, I washed, chopped and froze a bunch of hot pepeprs.

jalapino and Anaheim chili peppers

Then I snapped and washed the small bucket of green beans that had finally set.

green beans

After about two hours, my tomato sauce had cooked down enough to add spices.

By the end of the evening,

taco sauce and green beans

I had canned eight half-pints of taco sauce and five pints of green beans.