Monday, September 12, 2011

Stocking Up for Winter

A new tradition for Jane and I is to can tomatoes in August.  Last year we did a 1/2 bushel, which gave us each about 9 pints to enjoy in soups and pasta throughout the winter.  The only problem was that the 9 pints only made it until about December--that left us with a lot of winter where we didn't have our own little jars of summer left to use.
So, this year, we decided to do double the amount we did last year--a whole bushel.  We ended up with 33 pints this time, which probably still won't get us all the way through winter, but hopefully at least until February.

The tomatoes we had this year were fairly small and round.  They also weren't quite as ripe as we would have liked (it make peeling them more difficult.)  These were from the Minneapolis Farmer's Market.

Jane bought our tomatoes at the Minneapolis farmers market.
I don't know how many times we filled and refilled the giant bowls with the cut tomatoes.  It seemed like so many when we were doing it! 

A big bowl of peeled and cut tomatoes.
 To peel the tomatoes, you first have to dip them in boiling water, and then immerse them in ice water and in theory the peel slide right off.  It worked most of the time.

One of the things that I admire about women years ago who canned a lot is that tomatoes are ready at the hottest time of year and with all the boiling of water it takes to prep them and can them, the kitchen gets really hot. Those women did all of this hot work in non-air conditioned environments.  It is very long hot work!  I also can't figure out how they decided how much they needed to do.  Jane and I kind of just pick an amount and know that if we run out, we can always just pick some up at the store.

Here I am with some of our bounty. I can't wait to use these in my favorite recipes--especially in the Butternut Squash Crumble.  Oh, baby, does it taste like fall!

Me with my baby belly and a about half of the job done.

Up close with the tomatoes


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