Updates from the Garden, and My First-Time Solo Canning!

Today it was finally time to do something with all the millions of tomatoes it feels like we have being produced every day! We've had two huge bowls of them sitting in our frig for the past few days, plus a huge bag of them in both of our produce drawers! Tomatoes coming out our ears! There are only so many ways that you can eat a tomato in one day, and even as a tomato lover, I have to admit - they're getting to be a little more than even I can handle!

First, a few pictures of this bountiful, tomato-laden garden. New sightings, as of this evening: Eggplant, cantaloupes, pumpkins, and ...surprise, more tomatoes!

So....what to do with tons of red, juicy, ripe tomatoes? Can, of course! This was my first time canning on my own. I've always done applesauce in large amounts with my mom when we come back with tons of apples from the orchard in the fall. But today was my first time doing it all by myself...and I was definitely a little nervous. I bought a canner set from Target (only $29.99!) and decided to finally try my hand(s) at it today.

I started with lots, and lots, of red Juliet tomatoes (my new favorite kind!).

I found a recipe for Basic Tomato Sauce, good for pizza, pasta, chili, and whatever else we can think up, from my favorite go-to cookbook for produce: Simply in Season (check it out here: Simply In Season).

Preparing the canner wasn't difficult at all, thanks to the guide included in the package. I had no idea how much time it would take to boil, ice, and peel that many tomatoes though - definitely learning to work for my food!

A "little" while later, I had produced these!

Just a first attempt, but it feels good to have it under my belt! (See how happy I am!)

Tomorrow I'm planning to try pickles - more on that later...

After all was said and done, it was so nice to sit on the back porch and look out at the evening light and enjoy the coolness these past few days have brought.

And tomorrow, back to the canning adventure!


  1. congrats on your canning venture! isn't it such a feeling of accomplishment when it's all done? :) i just canned two tomato sauces for the first time this year and can't wait to use them. i wanted to give you a tip. put one of these on your christmas list: http://www.amazon.com/Victorio-VKP250-Model-Strainer-Sauce/dp/B001I7FP54/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1314200454&sr=8-1
    if you're going to make a habit of canning tomato-products, this will save you SO much time. no peeling required. just cut the tomatoes, cook them, dump them into the strainer and when you turn the handle, it spits out all the skin. miraculous. enjoy your creations!

  2. Thanks for the advice! Anything that can do all that - I will definitely be checking out. I'm ready to start my Xmas list now! Enjoy your creations as well :)


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