Saturday, August 17, 2013

Some People Run Marathons, I Can Tomatoes

That was my epiphany yesterday when I canned tomatoes.  I loathe running, but I love to listen to runners talk about the experience.



So I thought of how I had prepared for this moment, bought the equipment and set aside the time, and how I just had to take the first step and get started.  Then I looked at how much work was in front of me and quailed and wanted to give up.  After all, no one was forcing me to do this - I chose to do this because I love it!  So I pressed on and found my rhythm and got out of my head and enjoyed my mad skilz.  And when I was done, well, wow, the whole world looked sunny and (unlike the runner), I had food for the winter to show for it!

(1 bushel tomatoes: 12 pints pizza sauce, 12 pints salsa, 19 quarts whole canned tomatoes, all pressure canned with help from the children)



Sure, there are other reasons I like preserving, but my reasons are different from my mother's generation and I finally realized that.


16 comments:

AmyK said...

That's how I explain my reasoning for preferring natural childbirth: some people run a marathon and feel like superwoman, but I detest running and got my superwoman "high" from natural birth. I like canning as another way b/c I don't plan on having a baby every year, but I will can!

Beth said...

I've never canned, but would like to in the future. It would feel good to prepare some of our food for the future myself, using produce I knew was good stuff.

I run. Just started a few months ago and am building up my endurance. I love it. Nowhere near a marathon, though!

The zucchini relish looks GREAT.

Beth said...

Oh, that mac and cheese...I'll be doing that soon!

I have a crock pot recipe for it that also involves condensed milk - and if I'm feeling crazy, I love to add nearly-caramelized onions and bell peppers, and even chicken to the mac, making it extra substantial.

Madame said...

Awesome job on the canning! I am still looking for a good local and affordable source for tomatoes to can. I have only done canning with a waterbath. I am curious why use a pressure canner for tomatoes?

Margo said...

Madame, it's because I canned low-acid salsa just before the tomatoes, so the pressure canner was out; also because I've found it gives off far less heat and steam than my water bath canner. Good luck finding a source for tomatoes - I have to hunt for them nearly every year!

Margo said...

Beth, I think I will try jazzing up the macs with some caramelized onions and red peppers - thanks for the idea!

Jo said...

Would you kindly post your pizza sauce recipe Margo? And do you ever can a basic tomato pasta sauce? I am looking for a reliable recipe for the coming summer.

Sew Blessed Maw said...

Great job Margo.. Will be really tasty this winter...

Little Homestead In Boise said...

Good for you! I hope to someday be able to grow enough to can. I also have a glass topped stove so no pressure canning for me...

Allegra Byron said...

That has really struck a chord with me. I used to think, once upon a time, that one day I might run a marathon.... I know now that this will never happen - but hey, I can preserve food for winter instead. Thank you for that :)

jenny_o said...

What a great comparison! Your list of canned items sounds so good.

Alica said...

That sounds like a productive day! I love hearing that "pop" when the lids seal! I bought two baskets of tomatoes on Thursday, and they're looking like they'll be perfect for processing tomorrow. I grow them in my garden, but this year they're really ripening slowly.

sillygirl said...

In addition to canning tomatoes I do slow-cooked tomatoes and put them in 2-cup size (sour cream) containers and put them in the freezer. It doesn't matter how the tomatoes look or if they are not ones you would normally eat - concentrating them that way always makes a luscious taste. They are wonderful in cooked recipes as well as just sneaking a few when I want the full taste of tomato in the winter. Cut them in half - put them on a half-sheet - a little olive oil and salt on top - 350 degrees until them collapse down and concentrate - maybe 1-2 hours. You can also serve them then - a little chopped garlic is good on top.

Polly said...

This makes me laugh! Because I think I'd rather run a marathon than can tomatoes. (in my defense, I've never done either, but I've run a half marathon and I've canned other things.)

It is so true that when you love something, you get into the rhythm and the groove and you just enjoy the process.

Maybe one day I'll run a marathon and can tomatoes, and I can compare!

Melanie said...

I love this! I, too, am not a runner, but I'm sure my description of my canning adventures must sound similar to my non-canning friends and colleagues.

And you're right - for most of us, our reasons for canning are different. I often reflect on how that changes my approach and how I view the tasks involved.

Love this post!

Tracy said...

I'm a runner and a canner. Training for my first marathon on November 2. (Yikes!) Honestly, running is easier than marathon canning sessions, and I would have never thought I'd ever say that.

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