Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Canning Lesson

"Would you like some tomatoes?"

I think that question is one of my favorites to hear...especially when my tomato plants weren't producing much of anything. I was invited by a neighbor to help myself to their huge bounty of tomatoes so of course, I grabbed a big bowl and followed my neighbor to his house.

The Girl and I ooohed and aaaahed over the tomatoes for a long time. These are just a few of the Romas...a box 3 feet long and 2 feet deep...

And those large Romas in the photo...they are about 5-6 inches long...biggest Romas I've ever seen!

There was also a box full of beefsteak looking tomatoes - perfect for tomato sandwiches! One slice of this one would cover a slice of bread!

I filled my bowl full and was then handed a bag with onions, jalapenos, anaheim peppers, bell peppers and cucumbers! I was so happy to see all of this and astounded that someone had a garden that produced so. much. food.  I mean, the soil here is so poor. I can't imagine how long it took to amend it to be able to produce veggies like this! And it wasn't damaged by the hailstorms, either.

 I felt like I had hit the jackpot! The Girl and I couldn't stop thanking our neighbor for his generosity!

Once I learned he knew how to can food, I asked if he could teach me. I was limited to freezing and drying my produce and for years I've wanted to learn how to can foods. I was invited over the following day to help he and his wife deal with the remaining massive pile of tomatoes.

I skipped home with our produce. Fridays in our house are taco nights and I had most everything we needed for Pico de Gallo in my goodie bag of fresh veggies.

Of course it tasted good, but I couldn't get over how incredibly FRESH the pico tasted! Yum!

The following day, I headed down the street with my apron to spend the entire day washing, blanching, chopping, pureeing and CANNING tomatoes!  

We made salsa, diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. After about 5 hours, we still had 2 big bowls of tomatoes ready to juice, 2 pots of sauce cooking down on the stove and 2 boxes of tomatoes that hadn't been touched. I had a blast!

I can't wait for the pickling lesson!

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1 comment:

Joy said...

That's awesome! I feel so fortunate to have grown up around canning and other preserving so that when I was ready to tackle it on my own, it felt like second nature. The veggies look fabulous. What a wonderful neighbors to share their bounty!