Saturday, August 14, 2010
They're finally done and amazingly, I can still eat them. I got three baskets (also called a box, also called a half-bushel) for $4.50 apiece. Very cheap.
I canned 21 quarts of whole tomatoes (I still have some jars left from last year).
I also made half a batch of pizza sauce (recipe in Simply in Season) that resulted in 9.5 cups for the freezer. Here's a thrifty thing I do: I don't make a lot of tomato sauce in the summer because it involves lots of heat and humidity to reduce it. I want that heat and humidity in my house in the winter, so I use my whole canned tomatoes to make sauce then.
I canned 11 pints of salsa (Simply in Season) and 4 of them did not seal. I wanted to hurl them against the neighbor's house. But the next morning, I dredged out the salsa, heated the canner up again, used new lids and hallelujah, they sealed. And the smidge that didn't go in the jars was very picante, just the way we like it, so I was consoled.
A little. Because I still had tomatoes ripening in the living room and I had met my desired tomato quota. So I chunked up their butts, pureed them in the blender, and boiled them down for however long it took me to watch Dirty Dancing (inspired by this post and thinking of Patrick Swayze's death earlier this year) and work on the Klara Annabella. I was giddily transported back to high school. And that's the best thing I can say about the 6 cups of tomato sauce that resulted.
I almost gave up canning this week. I'm not joking. But the only thing I want to do yet is applesauce and that can wait until autumn.
Now, finally, let's talk about that apron I am wearing in these pictures. I made it last summer just in time to can peaches. The pattern is McCalls 2811 from the Retro Collection. It's the perfect apron for canning because it covers me completely, has pockets, and lots of rick rack. The border print and cherries are so bright and 1950s that I automatically feel clever and attractive. (Thanks to my husband for the apron photos.)