Saturday, September 19, 2009

When You Wish Upon a Jar

As I've looked over my preservation worksheets lately, I've noticed that I'm definitely coming to the end of my active food preservation projects for the year.

Sure, I'll still buy squash and potatoes and sweet potatoes and onions and garlic and such for cold storage for the winter, and I'll probably try to keep cramming food into the freezer (and into the Renaissance Man's freezer, since he's so obliging).

But I'm almost done with canning. (Can I get an Amen? I thought I could!)

The big push for canning always comes right at the beginning of the school year, when the tomatoes overwhelm me with their ripe bounty, but I'm learning to parcel out the work as best I can.

Everything else seems to take a back seat to those darn tomatoes, as you can see from the colorful mess in my kitchen. So many other things will wait patiently to be cooked or processed, but not tomatoes.

So I sent the RM off with a cheerful wave this weekend, grateful for his trip to the Farm so that I could focus my energies on cleaning up the kitchen and getting a few things out of the way.

Upon my return from the farmers' market this morning, I cut up last week's Fall Russet apples and set them on to simmer down into applesauce. While those cooked down slowly, I chopped tomatoes and all the other vegetables for a pot of salsa.

Once I had filled two pint jars with applesauce and washed up the pan and utensils, I started simmering the salsa (with some tomatillos thrown in for a little zing). And once that was ready, I filled four jars with the savory mix and set both the applesauce and the salsa into the canner for their processing in the boiling water bath.

Strangely, though I like salsa, I don't seem to eat too much of the homemade variety, so four jars should set me up just right for the coming year.

That, Dear Readers, is what I hope will be the end of the tomato canning this year (though I expect I'll continue to dry cherry tomatoes).

Still to come on the canning front: grape juice and tomatillo mincemeat, if I find the need for either. Oh, and some sliced or chunked pears, too, once the Madcap Farmer fills my order.

And if that doesn't leave me jarry-eyed, nothing will!

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At 9/21/2009 12:07 PM, Blogger Green Bean said...

Amen!! I'm just about finished too and couldn't be happier. :) Love canning. Love eating all that homemade, locally grown food in the middle of winter but the late summer/early fall preservation push can get to be a bit much.

At 9/21/2009 12:18 PM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

Glad it's not just me, Green Bean! I rearranged storage this weekend, too, so I had a chance to revel in the beauty of all those jars... but I'm still beat.

Keep hanging in there, you superhero, you! :-)

At 9/21/2009 2:43 PM, Blogger Phoenix said...

I helped make and can applesauce this weekend, too! We added in a bit of grated fresh ginger which gives it a nice zing.

At 9/21/2009 2:47 PM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

Ooooh, excellent idea, Phoenix! If I weren't done with applesauce for the year, I'd try that. (Remind me next year, would ya?)


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