Earlier in the spring, John planted 6 Roma tomato plants and 6 Best Boy tomatoes. This past weekend, some of the tomatoes were ripe enough to pick. Now, even though we dearly love tomatoes, 12 plants produce way more than we can eat. So, we can those we know we won't be able to eat in a reasonable amount of time. That way, we've got tomatoes all winter, and into the next spring. I can use them in soups, stews, casseroles, even spaghetti sauce. John puts them into a boiling pot and lets them bubble away for about 30 seconds, then dumps them into icy cold water in the sink. I immediately skin them and put them into bowls. We can then place them into the sterilized quart jars along with some salt and a bit of lemon juice and seal them.
Once they've been sealed, they go into the canner for 45 minutes.
After they have boiled and bubbled for the requisite 45 minutes, they are removed from the canner and set onto the counter for anywhere from 6 to 24 hours, depending on how long it takes for the thin lids to 'suck in' and seal. In the picture above, the lids have a slight bow outward - that bow sucks in and that's when you know you have a good seal. We can then take the metal rings off and store the jars in the pantry. Last weekend, John brought in 2 five gallons buckets filled about 1/2 way with tomatoes. It probably only took us about 2 hours to can those into 7 quart jars. I know some people who can 40 jars at a time, but we can do just a few as the tomatoes are ready to harvest - even thru the workweek - and that's just fine with me. Standing in the kitchen, canning, is a long, hard, time-consuming, back-breaking job. I'm fine with doing it a bit at a time, even though it makes a lot of work thru the week.
I suspect we will do some canning this week...John and my mom are traveling to North Platte, Nebraska next weekend. They are meeting Young John there and transferring 2 huge coolers of pork for Knotwells West.
In addition to the pork, I'm also sending a lot of the Christmas gifts for them as well. With 5 children plus John and Jill, the cost of mailing gifts at Christmas is almost more than the cost of the gifts themselves. I can save a ton by sending them next weekend....So I'm wrapping gifts today as well as doing the laundry and updating the blog. That way I have far fewer things to mail and less cost.
Sometimes I amaze myself at how smart I can be. Other times? Well, let's not go there, ok?
Not much else to tell you this week. John is working against time to get his chicken tractor updated and ready to transfer the baby chicks into it - probably another 2 weeks and they will be fully feathered and can brave the elements outside the barn. Pictures will, of course, be forthcoming so those of you who don't know what a chicken tractor looks like can be amazed!
Thanks for stopping by.