Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Canning Season

Sense of Home Kitchen

Canning season is upon us and that means other things are put aside, the dust begins to build up on the shelves, spills bake hard onto the stove top, and the book we were reading sits waiting for us to have a quiet moment. Canning season is a very busy time of year, especially tomato canning, once they start ripening I am harvesting and canning nearly every day.  Monday I canned 7 quarts of tomatoes and Tuesday 9 pints of salsa were canned.  I always pressure can my tomatoes, it is fast, easy, and I don't need to check on the acidity of the mixture of tomatoes I am using.

With today's haul of tomatoes I will be canning whole tomatoes again tomorrow.  I can all my tomatoes whole, mixing yellow right in with the red, Beaverlodge Plum in with the Brandywine and Purple Cherokee.  I have always canned my tomatoes this way, the variety only enhances the flavor and results in a quart of delicious whole tomatoes which I can then turn into marinara or pizza sauce, put in a chili, stew, or soup, and any recipe calling for tomato sauce or whole tomatoes.  Last year I canned 25 quarts of whole tomatoes and we just ate our last quart a week ago, my goal this year is closer to 30 quarts since this season's tomato harvest and canning is about a month earlier than normal. I also canned 14 pints of salsa last year, which only took us through until March, so I would like to be able to get closer to 24 pints, that would provide us two a month.  I canned 9 quarts of tomato soup last year and hope to do at least that many this year, so August will be another busy month.

I have a good start on the pantry, but if our garden is to sustain us through the year I will need to do add several more jars of fruits and vegetables.  Our strawberries are producing for the second time this summer and better than the first, I will need to be quick to pick before the slugs get them.  Soon there will be apples to juice and can, chickens will be butchered and more stock made and canned, grapes to harvest, juice and can, corn, pumpkins, more peppers, and whatever else I have forgotten at the moment.  Tomorrow we will take stock of the freezer and determine what else we need before winter.  We have several pints of blueberries, but I know we are short on strawberries.  We will need to have my father-in-law haul a cow in to be butchered, chickens will be butchered, and my husband will hunt deer this fall.

Sense of Home Kitchen / Homemade Living / Kitchen and Pantry