Home > Tomato Days

Tomato Days

September 30th, 2012 at 09:27 pm

Yesterday was tomato day, as in I spent a good amount of it blanching, peeling, cutting up, and blending 25 pounds of tomatoes that had been sitting on my kitchen table for over a week. I put them in the crockpots. It filled the 8 quart to the top and then the 4 quart 3/4 of the way full. I left them to cook down on low for 24 hours and then just combined the two crocks together. I did not notice a difference in consitancy between this batch, where I peeled the skins off, and the last two batches when I didn't. What I did notice was it didn't take as long to cook down, closer to 24 hours than 36.

I currently have the 8 quart one full to the top. I bumped it up to high to make sure that it would boil. In about an hour I will put it all into jars and can them. I should have at least 15 to 16 pints if it doesn't cook down too much more in the next hour. That should put me up to half a year's supply of homemade and canned tomato sauce. I don't know if there will be any at the farmer's market next Saturday, but if there is I'd like to do at least one more batch. I've got a few ripening on the vine and whatever is ripe I always throw in with my farmer's market buys.

Once they are in the canner I can clean out the crock and start my pears cooking down for pear sauce and can that tonight. I wonder if pears will cook down faster than apples since they are a softer fruit? I will need to check the crock sooner to be on the safe side, I suppose. I'm not sure I'll get any of the baking done that I wanted to do this week, except for the cloverleaf rolls, but that's okay. My ear is completely pain free now, but I'm still kind of slacking in the energy department.

I would really like to can pear chunks as well if I have the time to do it this fall. I don't much care for the consitancy of canned peaches, but canned pears I enjoy much better and it'd be nice to have some on hand for when the pear season ends in December. And it's easier to find organic pears for a reasonable price, anyway. I'll have to buy more lemon juice. Between the tomato sauce and the pear sauce I will wipe out what I have on hand. Pears don't have enough natural pectin to not put it in. Tomatoes probably do, but all the recommendations suggest its safer to raise the acid content of them with lemon juice if you are using a water bath canner, which I am.

My chicken noodle soup that I made tastes even better today after sitting in the fridge. The flavors have just melded even more beautifully. I knew that happened with chili and stew, but I'd never had it happen with soup, usually because it's gone so fast. It's nice not to have to make lunch right now when I'm so busy with preserving, just pour out some soup and heat it up.

One of these days I really need to make up stock in my giant stock pot instead of the crockpot so I will have enough to can it. It doesn't seem worthwhile to get out the pressure canner to can two jars of stock, or three jars of chicken/turkey and vegetable soup minus the noodles. But I really want to have some on hand that I can just add noodles to it later on as I use it, so I'll have to get with that in another couple of weeks. I want to do it while organic carrots and organic celery are still in season. Organic onions and garlic are always cheap.

We'll need to roast and eat some whole chickens between now and then so I have the carcasses to work with and maybe some turkey thighs as well for the meat for the soup since I have some in the freezer. I have two whole chickens in the freezer, so we'll definitely have one of them for dinner one night this week.

I will have to stop at the farm stand tomorrow and pick up a cabbage and a lettuce. That should be all the produce I buy this week for my weekly menu planning. The rest will be from food on hand in the fridge, the garden, and the freezer or pantry.

2 Responses to “Tomato Days”

  1. Jerry Says:

    I love it that you are able to use your garden and storage to lead to amazing savings on your food bills. Really excellent! That is inspiring and it offers insurance to others that this is possible, whether or not you actually live on a farm.

  2. patientsaver Says:

    When i blanch and freeze my tomoatoes, i never bother to skin or seed them. It's ALL delicious! Since they're homegrown and organic, might as well get maximum nutritional value from them as many veggies have a lot of their nutrients in the skin.

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