Friday, October 2, 2009

canning tomatoes part 2

I'm a bit overdue in writing this post as a followup to Operation Tomato Part One a couple weeks ago. Immediately after canning the sungold cherry tomato sauce, we worked on sauce of the regular slicing and paste tomatoes. Even with a LOT of fresh eating, we had plenty for canning. Pace yourself Sam!

Canning is a big undertaking. I've done it alone, with one other person, and with groups of all sizes. It was one of the most popular workshops I taught at my old job, and I find interest and enthusiasm whenever I talk about it. Harvesting, gathering jars, washing jars and produce, cutting, coring, straining fruit, boiling down sauce for 4-6 hours, sterilizing jars and lids, ladling sauce into jars, screwing on lids, placing filled jars into boiling water, boiling jars for 45 minutes, lifting them out and waiting for the seal to pop.... it takes a lot of time, care, and patience.

But it's all so fun, especially when you get into a rhythm with your co-canners, everyone doing whatever job needs to be done. Even Sam got into the action pushing cut tomatoes into the hopper...

...alternated with sipping tomato juice from a mug (see red mustache).

Final yield two weeks ago: 7 quarts of delicious tomato sauce. And the best part? We did this all again yesterday with an equal amount of tomatoes, boiled it down to a thicker sauce, and got 4 more quarts of yumminess. We should have enough for one more (probably smaller) canning session soon. I love growing my own food!


heather said...

Oh, that makes me so jealous. I had so many tomato plants and so few tomatoes this year. :(
I'm used to making enough sauce to freeze 4-7 quarts on average. This year, I think we've eaten any little sauce that gets made. Certainly not enough to get us through to next summer. Oh well. next year, more plants with less sunflowers stealing their sunshine.

Miriam said...

Hi Sharon!
I'm amazed to see all these beautiful tomatoes you have grown! Love the pictures of Sam! He is changing and growing! I'd love to come up for a visit sometime this month. :)