Monday, October 7, 2013

Tomatoes: 2013 Addition

 The last of our garden produce. I'm a little sad to see the end of the gardening season approaching after our cold/wet spring.
We finally got an email on Friday from Bluebird Gardens that they had more tomatoes available for picking! I was so disappointed earlier in the summer when they only had tomatoes available for a day or two when I couldn't get them. We use lots of tomato based meals over the winter months so Kolsen and Kaylee headed out to the farm on Friday morning to pick four, five gallon buckets full of tomatoes. They also had all sorts of peppers that we didn't need a CSA ticket for, so we grabbed some of those while we were there. 

 My helpers work for free and are usually willing to slice and dice, but they aren't very neat.

 mmm...salsa for breakfast???

A double batch of our delicious salsa takes 20 cups of tomatoes, 10 cups of onion, 10 cups of green pepper, and 2 cups of banana/hot peppers. We did 3 double batches which meant a lot of chopping.

 My new, huge canning pot! It can hold 14 pint jars at the same time. I just have to figure out how to keep everything hot before it goes in. Notice the floating veggies? I only broke two jars so far this year and was so sad that one of them was salsa. It takes quite a while to heat up water for this pot so I just finished canning them and then wiped up the jars when they cooled down.

The final mess. I'm pretty sure I had every large bowl, pot and ice cream bucket in our entire house dirty by the end of the weekend. Even though my feet were aching by the end of the day, I did manage to get the kitchen all cleaned up before bed. I'm sure I'll be thankful in the morning, but I don't want to see a tomato for a long time.
I ended up with lots of frozen and canned goods!
24 C. roasted tomatoes
36 pints of salsa
5 pints of tomato sauce
1 quart roasted tomatoes
7 quarts diced tomatoes
7 quarts of onion/green pepper spaghetti sauce
14 pints of pickled banana peppers
My jars are finally starting to fill up and I'm looking forward to cooking with yummy produce all winter long. I love cooking up good food for my family and I love knowing where my food comes from. The organic salsa at our local store cost $2.50/jar when I can get it on sale, so making my own organic salsa just saved us $90. I had also checked out a different source for local, organic tomatoes and they wanted $1.30/lb for tomatoes. I can only imagine how expensive 20 gallons of tomatoes would have been if I had bought them. I love my CSA farm!

I'll have to get some pictures of all my jars sometime. Shawn was hauling the jars downstairs for me when they cooled down because I had stuff all over our kitchen. What I wouldn't give for a big farm kitchen on canning days. I need more than the 10 feet of counter that I have in my current kitchen.

1 comment:

  1. I'm always super impressed with the amount of stuff you get canned. It's all the help from those little beauties, isn't it? ;-)