Too many tomatoes, peaches falling off the tree and “waste not, want want.” – Sounds like a tomato and peach glut to me.
I finally grew a real garden this year after several bad attempts and concluding there’s no way I’ll ever have a great garden. But this year it did amazingly well until the temperatures went three digits. Then everything started to brown, wilt and slow in production. Still I had enough produce to put a few pints and quarts away for the rest of the year. This is how things looked on the west side of my patio sometime in June. (there’s more on the east side)
And again several weeks later.
And just to be sure you get the idea. Here’s some of what was harvested.
So far the 3 tomato plants yielded about 50 lbs of tomatoes and this time I decided it was time I did some canning. So I got busy and canned 12 quarts of stewed tomatoes.
Then I my husband asked me to make tomato jam. It seems he remembers his mother canning tomato jam when he was a boy. Well, I too remember tomato jam only it was the neighbor across the cul-de-sac from our house. (Thank you – Barbara) And I remember being quite shocked at the sweet yumminess in my mouth.
So, tomato jam would be a first for my kitchen but I couldn’t wait to try it out. Another several pounds of blanched, skinned and deseeded tomatoes later and some hot bubbly, sugary, steamy work over the stove and several pints were canned.
I was bummed it didn’t set but no worries I just open a jar when I need it, pour the contents into a saucepan and reduce at a boil for about 10 minutes and… Voila! Perfect tomato jam that my husband seems to prefer over that fancy French stuff I pick up at the specialty shop. (have a look at the little jar there next to the quart of stewed tomatoes.)
This is the way I enjoy my tomato jam … A cup of tea and toast with cream cheese and tomato jam… Mmmmm.. Deliciousness…. Delightful!
Then this morning I got to canning 8 pints of peach butter. I’ve made apricot butter and plumb butter before but this year I decided my neighbors peach tree hanging over my back fence with the puny, boring fruits with bitter skin that don’t ripen on the tree and never get bigger than an apricot wouldn’t go to waste another summer. So I got to work and blanched, peeled, deseeded, simmered and boiled those little lovelies until they were worthy of homemade toast.
It was highly satisfying to hear the canning lids pop (ahhh!) one by one as the jars cooled and sealed in all that sweet fruit.
For my next effort I hope to be canning tomato salsa from a recipe that my mother-in-law made. I lost the recipe years ago and after she passed away I figured I’d never be able to reproduce that awesome flavor until the other day when I remembered a friend of mine has had the recipe for years. I’ll be giving her a call soon.
In the mean time, I’m quite satisfied with my labors. My efforts to eat cleaner and closer to the vine are paying off.
Growing your own produce ensures cleaner food on your table and knowing its clean just makes you feel healthier. Next year I hope to blog my gardens progress more systematically. For now, it was good to finally just get a post on the proverbial paper.
Hope your summer is beginning to cool off. Leave a comment if you like. Let me know about your canning adventures. Tell me if you’ve ever made tomato jam. Maybe we can swap recipes… c’mon… Ask me how to make it. For now I’ll leave you with this…
She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.