Sunday, August 19, 2012

Canning Season Begins

Canning season is finally here. The cauliflower, onions, garlic, and kohlrabi haven't done very well this year but to tomatoes sure have. We've had enough tomatoes to give some away and do three batches of canning.

Last weekend we made spaghetti sauce with no meat. It is a long process because you have to run the tomatoes through a food mill to remove the skin and seeds, then put all the ingredients into a pot and cook it down until it is thick. After it was all cooked down we only managed to get 4 litres of spaghetti sauce.

This weekend we opted for something simpler. We did one batch of 7 litres of canned tomatoes. All you have to do to them is blanch them to get the skins off, put them in the jars, add salt and boiling water to cover, and process. The second batch this weekend were flavoured tomatoes. Not really stewed, as that requires some cooking, but canned as above only with a handful of fresh herbs and a chopped pepper or two.

At the rate the tomatoes are coming in we'll be doing canning every weekend until they finally stop producing. I think that is great! This is the first year we have had a decent tomato harvest from our garden. As you know homegrown vegetable, especially tomotoes taste second to none.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Behind Schedule

I know I've been rather lax in keeping my updates going these last couple of months. As it turns out I've been pretty busy with SCA stuff and my home business. I've not had several sewing jobs for other people in the SCA as well as a couple of simple wood carving commissions. But, it all takes time which is why I am a couple of weeks behind schedule here.

In my last post I was complaining about the lack of sale on Etsy. Well, the Gods of Commerce must have heard my wailing and gnashing of teeth because I made five sales in July. I haven't gone back and checked nut I am pretty sure that is a record number of sales for me on Etsy. You add in the SCA sales and I did really great business in July.

The rest of my life is still plugging along. We are still suffering drought conditions and we have been keeping the garden watered. Luckily, being diligent with the water has been working well for the tomatoes and cauliflower. From the looks of things I'll be canning tomatoes in late August, though not as many as I had hoped.

Even though I purchased my well labelled tomato seedlings from the nursery I ended up with two cherry tomato plants, one roma tomato plant, one beefsteak, and one pink lady. The other three have so far remained unidentified. The beefsteaks and the cherry tomatoes are the most prolific in the garden this year. The beefsteaks are mostly for eating on Bacon Lettuce and Tomato sandwiches since I find they are not juicy enough for canned tomatoes and take to long to cook down for sauce.

The cherry tomatoes? I've been getting a pint every other day and so far they haven't been lasting all that long. I've been eating them like grapes. Seriously. They are a fruit and home grown cherry tomatoes are so much sweeter and juicier than store bought ones, so it has been easy to keep up with the harvest so far. Eventually though the harvest will get big enough that I will have to start begging the neighbours and friends to take some off my hands.

Until then I will keep watering, picking, and eating as much of my harvest as I can.In fact, I think I'm going to pull some bacon out of the freezer. BLT's for lunch tomorrow, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, well you get the idea.