Canning Tomatoes

Busy morning but now I get to sit and rest my back for a few minutes before dinner. Yesterday we went took our weekly trip to Nelson’s Farm Stand and this time we hit it just right. They had local corn for $14 for a box of 5 dozen ears. This corn is picked and put in refrigeration trucks right there in the fields and kept in a refrigeration unit until we put it in our car. We took out a dozen ears to cook for dinner and half of them we gave to Becca for her kids. The rest we cut off the cob and had it in our freezer before noon. It is just as good as picking it from our own garden. We don’t blanch or anything, just put it on a cookie sheet and pop it into the freezer. At 5 that evening we took it out and put it into quart bags and back to the freezer. That keeps it from getting into one solid mass so I can take out just what I want when I want some for a meal later. I then put it into my warmer with a pat of butter and a small sprinkle of salt, leave it for two hours and it is so nice and fresh!! We also got 2 – 25 pound boxes of tomatoes. You have to be there at the right minute to get those as they go fast. They get the boxes of tomatoes from the field, then they pick out the perfect ones and those are marked $1.29 a pound. The ones that are not perfect as put into a large bin and sold at 89 cents a pound. If they have too many for the bin they sell them for canning at $12 a 25 pound box. They had just one when we got there but before we left they had a second one so we got two and today we went to work on those.

I started at 6 this morning, I chopped 4 pounds of onions,  4 whole garlic bulbs, and a large handful of fresh herbs from my garden, then added the dried herbs to make my spaghetti sauce.  Norman went for his walk, He walks two miles each day and has done this since his by pass surgery 22 years ago.  Just before he got home I made up the fresh fruit dish that we start every breakfast with so when he got home he started the oatmeal and we ate our fruit.  After breakfast we went to work on the tomatoes.  Norman starts blanching the tomatoes and I was set up in the dinning room to skin and deseed the tomatoes, then chop them before adding them to the big pot. Photo on 4-7-16 at 8.22 AM #2

We had a large summer kitchen in TN but here we only have a small galley kitchen to work in that is why I have to work in the dinning room.  This is one side of the kitchen.  When Norman takes the tomato out of the boiling water he put them in the ice water in the sink, then into the strainer and finally onto the cooky sheets.  When the sheet is full I take them into the dinning room to peel, deseed and chop before putting them into the big stew pot to make the sauce.Photo on 4-7-16 at 8.23 AM

This is Norman transferring a tomato to the sink.  That is the garage beside Norman, we often keep that door open when working in the kitchen so we get a breeze .  Photo on 4-7-16 at 8.22 AM

This is my work area.  We had 7 + large trays full today.  When Norman finished blanching he joined me in the dinning room and sat on the other side of the table to help skinning and chopping.  The big pot is put on the heat as soon as I get two trays done so the sauce can be cooking as long as possible.  It also helps to boil down the sauce so all 45 pounds fit in the pot.  At ten o’clock it was time for Norman’s coffee and I needed to get dinner started.  Today we were having BBQ spareribs.  I cooked them on Monday and made up three dishes with the extra I cooked so all I had to do today was to heat the dish.  Photo on 4-7-16 at 9.07 AM #2

They taste as good as they look and we had more than enough so the left overs today will go with the left over chicken and make another meal for us Saturday.  I also like at least three vegetables, potato and salad so I put these on also.  I usually have two left over vegetables to warm up but today I had all three. Photo on 4-7-16 at 9.07 AM


This is my little dipper.  They are three crock pots the heat up left overs without drying them out and is my life saver.  Today we have butternut squash, corn I took off the cob yesterday and I opened a can of green beans from TN.  Each pot holds a pint, more than enough for the two of us.  I had a small salad left from yesterday so all I had to do was put two potatoes into the small oven at 10, then at 11:15 I would put the spare ribs in with the potatoes and dinner would be ready with no work.  then back to the tomatoes!!

Photo on 4-7-16 at 10.49 AM #2

By 11:15 all the tomatoes were done and in the pot cooking slowly.  That gave us time to clean up the mess before dinner.  Photo on 4-7-16 at 10.49 AM

About Carol (Ouma) Petts

I am a retired teacher. I have taught all levels from kindergarten through college and have been retired now for over 20 years. The last ten years we have lived on a farm and lived off the land, growing our own food and canning for our extended family. Now we have sold the farm and are moving to Florida to truly retire. I guess I have always had a short attention span as this is our 11th move. We have moved from a small farm in New Hampshire, to more city type living, small business adventures, focusing more on traveling, Florida living, Georgia, and Tennessee farming and now back to Florida. My blog is a way to keep my children up to date on what I am doing and letting them know I am still alive and well. My children are spread across the country from New England to Florida, Nova Scotia to New Mexico and CA and several places between, They let me know what they are up to by commenting on my blog but they are so busy with their own lives most times I have to assume " no news is good news". Now I are starting on a new adventure so will try to give daily updates until we get settled into a routine. Then I know even if I am getting older and should settle down I will start looking for some new and exciting adventure to start. Welcome aboard. Norman died Oct 30, 2017 so I am continuing the journey alone with the aid of my children, grand children and great grand children. At present I am living with my daughter and we are 7 in one house and cover four generations. We range in age from 7 to 85 and are finding common ground, we are living proof that multi generations can live and function in a three bedroom house if they really want to. Soon my grandson will have his house built next door so we all will have a room of their own except for the seven year old twins who by choice will share a room.
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