Can You….Can?

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Summer. Hot and humid. Perfect climate to grow all sorts of vegetables and healthy staples.

My garden, at this late date, is now over run with weeds, in most places, but the tomatoes are still coming in strong. I would have had a bumper crop of green beans and October beans had the doe in the neighboring wood not discovered the scrumptious eats in my yard. She has single-handedly obliterated those veggies. On a similar note, some rabbit or rodent has discovered the ever-present fruit of my beautiful tomatoes.

Today I found four, 4 (four), large ripe tomatoes half eaten and gnawed out. It is beginning to get irritating.

On a happier note, I have managed to scarf enough ripe tomatoes to can about seven quarts, a couple quarts at a time. I usually collect enough tomatoes at one picking at this date in the season to can at least a dozen or more quarts, but between that doe munching on the first six tomato plants and that bothersome rodent, I am happy to have managed these treasures. Canning two or three quarts is very simple compared to the production line of a dozen or so, though. I kind of like it this way. I have to state that my canning goal for the season was at least thirty-six quarts and I am not sure I will come any where close to that worthy aspiration.

I love tomatoes and I love cooking with them. Most of my winter dishes have some sort of tomato base and this is how I support my tomato habit. It gives me a very self satisfying feeling to accomplish canning anything.

I just wanted to share fruits of my labor in picture form.

For anyone who is unfamiliar with the canning process, I did not take any shots of the process. I was asleep this afternoon. I will explain it briefly.

Take fresh tomatoes. Cut out the stem area, boil for three minutes, allow to cool to touch and remove the skin. Place the meat of the tomatoes in a boiled clean glass jar and seal with a boiled canning lid.

The filled jars are placed in a pot of water and covered with water.

I cook mine on the porch to minimize the heat build up in the house during the hottest part of the summer. One of these cookers perform admirably.

This is a small pot as I only canned three jars. I have larger pots for more jars.

The water boils for forty-five minutes, forcing air out of the jar and cooking the contents to kill any bacteria that would cause food poisoning.

Pull the jars out of the water and allow to cool.

The important thing about canning is that as the jars cool, the lid will suck in, indicating it has cooked properly and is sealed properly. Please don’t pay any attention to that fly on the side. Working outside has its draw backs and flies are one of them.

I think the red jars are beautiful.

Then of course there are the helpers. This is Fluffy. She just knows there is something to eat under that lid.

Thanks for letting me share this little piece of heaven. Tomatoes are heaven.

Love,
Jeannene

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