Thursday, July 19, 2012

Tomatoes (3 of 3!)

Last night I canned the rest of the tomatoes. My sister and I made blackberry jam and since the canner was already hot, it just made good sense to go ahead and finish them up. It was infinitely easier than the 1st time and I was amazed at how much less anxious I felt the 2nd time through. I could easily remember the steps and had a better sense of timing. It only took me about 20 minutes to get 4 jars of tomatoes in the canner. Hooray!
I'm not going to lie - I started out super easy with just canning them whole in their own juices. After 2 rounds of that (and 13 pints jars of tomatoes in the pantry!), I think I'll be ready to make a real sauce next. I would like to start with a half recipe and see how it goes and then do more. I'm a little anxious to commit to a recipe if I don't know what the sauce tastes like. I wish there was a way to sample a recipe and then buy what you need to jar it yourself.

The jam-making session went great. I forgot how long it takes to seed blackberries, but other than that it was pretty simple. Our jam was setting beautifully and we can't wait to sample some tonight. We made 1 pint jar, and 10 4oz jars of jam. We don't eat a lot of jam, so I wanted it in really small jars that would be less likely to go bad before we could finish them. As luck would have it, we used my sister's berries instead of mine, which means that I still have 2 gallon bags of berries in the freezer.

Next up?? I have 2 little goals for the summer.
I'd like to make a tomato sauce that can be stored up for the winter, but not sure what recipe to try or how to do that exactly.
I'm also looking forward to the peaches blossoming so that I can make some delicious treats such as jam, cobbler, and various other goodies. We sadly missed the boat on strawberries, so I'm hoping to make up for it with extra focus on peaches. Fingers crossed for a great haul. With any luck, the same will apply to apples and we'll get to make some pie, applesauce, and baked apple wedges to munch on all winter long. Hopefully these goodies will help get us through a dark and dreary winter with much happiness.

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