Monday, August 16, 2010

canning season........

This is my storage area...and it is even before the kids have taken down all the tomato stuff from Sundays canning session - I'll admit I'm pretty proud...We should be good for the Winter....

Today I dream of being done with canning. Well that isn't all true because I actually enjoy it once I get started but it is alot of work and takes alot of time.

Saturday morning Rob woke me up with a kiss and said "I was just wondering..." then I grabbed my pillow and covered my head and kept telling him that I couldn't hear him. I knew what was coming..and then I heard the words.."do you want to do some canning today?" For him it means a winter full of chips and salsa. But for me it means piles of pots and pans and hands that smell like onions. Rob complaining that his hands are on fire because he refuses to wear plastic gloves to cut the jalapenos. It means all of us asking why it is that out of 20 knives not one is sharp enough to cut through a tomato. It means standing at the stove for hours upon hours waiting for pots to warm up - or cool down - and constantly forgetting to set the timer. But probably my biggest pet peeve is the tomato splatters EVERYWHERE. I just resolve myself to the fact that my stove will be a mess and I will deal with it at the end. But as I stand there watching red drops bounce onto my cupboards and the floor and the white wall behind my stove it just means More Work...

This year has been the absolute worst year for our garden. You would think if I said we had so much rain and sun that it would have been great for it. In actuality I think it destroyed it. Our tomato plants got late blight and I haven't had one tomato that was a perfect round and red. They are misshaped and have black cracked tops. We ended up using what we could and got some from the neighbors. Theirs had struggled too though. Our cucumbers did crazy things. They never got big around, they just grew long and narrow. I thought maybe we messed up and got the wrong seed but one of my friends said hers did the same thing. Our onions never got very big at all. They would make great cocktail onions...LOL..They came up and then the tops all died off. I told Rob that Honestly, next year we really really just need to cut back and when it's time to can just go to the Amish and get everything we need for the day. Less stress and guilt - I would be a much happier gardener...

So on Saturday Rob's mom came and helped core tomatoes and cut onions and peppers. The first day we just did salsa all day. On Sunday we worked on Tomatoes, Peppers and Onions - I use those for chili and stuff like that. As we got part way into Sunday's batch Rob started panicking that we needed more tomatoes. He began calling around but had no luck. So as I had my last batch in and the dishes done and counters cleaned a friend called and said the she had scored us more tomatoes. Rob was thrilled. Me and the kids - not so much. So, everything back out and did some more stuff.

At final count for the weekends canning session.
52 Quarts Salsa
19 Quarts Stewed Tomatoes
4 Quarts Spaghetti Sauce
4 Quarts Chili Sauce

And now I keep looking at my canning book and seeing if there a few more things I want to get to before the end of the season. I haven't decided just yet. First I have to get my kitchen back in order before I can start a new mess.

Today I dream for you splatter free walls and that your house doesn't smell of onions like mine does!! LOL!

Have a wonderful day friends!

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