So, my canning party for two was today.
Over the course of five hours, we canned 30lbs of tomatoes (roughly), and I now have 10lbs more in various stages of “on the go” (3-4lbs are in the slow-cooker already, with a pound or two (about 15 tomatoes) sliced into rounds and doing their thing in the dehydrator, and the rest sitting, already chopped, in bowls in the fridge – I need to get The Biggest Pot cleaned up before I can finish the rest…).
I’ve got one more 20lb box (or most of it) washed, but left whole, sitting in a plastic tub in the bottom of my fridge so that they don’t get mouse-contaminated over night.
Still. Having also gone through 0.8L sugar and 1.5L vinegar (maybe slightly more), plus 2L diced peaches, 2 large red onions, and about 5 bulbs of garlic, in addition to those tomatoes, what we got so far is:
4L crushed tomatoes
4.5L roasted-garlic-balsamic tomato sauce
3L (all in pint jars) tomato-peach salsa
Most of the above (except for slightly more than half the salsa) went home with my friend today, which was the plan. The only ingredients I’m running right out of are the ones for the salsa, thense me making sure I got some of the big batch we made.
The plan is to get another 4L of crushed tomatoes (mostly in pint jars, some of it heading my friend’s way), somewhere between 6C and 12C more roasted-garlic balsamic tomato sauce (in, ideally, half-cup jars), and to put the rest of the romas, thinly sliced into rounds, into the dehydrator so that I can chuck them into stews and similar over the winter. We’ll see if I’ve got the math right on that, mind you.
The goal of this whole escapade was multi-fold, but basically boils down to “Pay up front, with a day-or-two’s worth of time, energy, and attention, in order to have numerous weeks worth of convenience food lined up and ready to go”.
And I think we’re getting well on our way.
Something I’m doing this year that I don’t tend to do “automtically” is using pint jars for my tomato preserves. In years past, I’ve gone for one-cup jars (salsa, diced tomatoes, bruchetta-in-a-jar) and half-cup jars (fancy tomato sauce), and only reached for the pint jars when I ran out of other options. Partly this has been to stretch my tomato preserves over as many meals as possible, and partly it’s been because “preserved tomatoes” are enough of an acquired taste for me that I wanted to be sure my portion sizes were small enough that I could use up a whole jar in the space of one meal and not need to worry about eating jarred tomtoes more than once in a week ifI didn’t want to. (I have since come to basically rely on jarred tomatoes for multiple meals per week over the course of the winter, so that’s not so much an issue now).
That said, I’m still planning on doing my tomato sauce in half-cup jars, because it’s a good one to give away as a gift, and I find that a little bit goes a long way when it comes to meals for 2-3 people.
Regardless, with my “overnight” machines – my slow-cooker and my dehydrator – doing their thing in the kitchen, and all of my remaining tomatoes hidden safely away in the fridge, I’m calling it a night. There’s plenty more to do in the morning.
Heh. Other people use this Super Moon energy to get creative work done on canvases and computer screens. Aparently, I put it towards a winter’s worth of jarred tomatoes.
You do what works. 🙂
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
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