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Monday, September 7, 2009

Yes We Can

I spent the majority of Sunday canning tomatoes.

It’s that time of year, my friends. The leaves on the trees aren’t as green as they were, the flowers aren’t as happy as they used to be, the vegetables have matured and are begging to be picked.

Next stop: Autumn.

And you know what that means, don’t you: Several lugs of tomatoes and spending the afternoon with a knife in one hand and a hot tomato in the other.

It’s a symbolic thing – not the knife, of course, nor the tomato (although so many things can be remedied with a good tomato). The move from one season to another requires a list of things that need to be readied: the yard, the car, the windows, the closet – and the pantry.

Canning is a shift in thinking, one eye on the next season with my feet in the current one. It requires careful attention to detail now so that there will be something for the future. If the jar isn’t clean, that quart is going to be bad. If you didn’t wipe the rim of the jar, the seal may fail.

And don’t you hate it when your seal fails?

So 15 quarts, four pints, three random turnips from my sister and a jar of canned beets from my mother, we’re one step closer to saying good-bye to summer and hello to fall.

I don’t make the rules. I just live by them.

Hope you’ve cleaned your jars.

20 comments:

♥ Braja said...

I love all that kitchen preserving stuff.....tomatoes are a favorite. Save me a jar Pearly Gearl :))

Comedy Goddess said...

No tomato blight where you are? We have not had any decent ones at all.

Canning is not for sissies!

IB said...

I used to work in the quality assurance end of food manufacturing. I've got a head full of fears about canning going badly and the terrors of cross-contamination. When my wife cans I have to leave the house 'cause she can't take me checking temps and following behind her with disinfectant wipes.

darsden said...

I won't know the season changed here till around January isn't that sad. Canning reminds me of my Grandmother. It is nice to know several in blogland still can. In this buy and waste world we live nice to know some still preserve it :-) Thanks for the memory today.

Not The Rockefellers said...

Oh man would I love to have an afternoon of "Put up or shut up" (canning party) with you...could you imagine?

And, of course, things would be handled safely..seals would be tight...temps would be right..cutting boards and knives would be bright...

No reason for IB to take flight.

Peace - Rene

Pat said...

What wise home economist you are! That's a lot of hot and tedious work, but well worth it. You'll enjoy various tomato dishes all year long.

Douglas said...

Geez! Those were the days... a knife in one hand and a hot tomato in the other ... usually followed by a visit from the SWAT guys and the Tasers kind of hurt... but until then.

ellen abbott said...

I put up all sorts of things over the summer but no tomatoes. It got too hot too fast here for them to do well. What we got, we ate.

Fragrant Liar said...

My family just made jellies and jams. They are like priceless gems when you get one.

And you're right. So many things a good juicy tomato can fix.

powdergirl said...

Oh Pearl, I'm so glad you dedicate yourself to writing every day. My mornings wouldn't be the same without you : )

I'm too lazy to can, but I froze a sh*t-load of marinara sauce, and tomato soup yesterday. Man, did I make a mess!

Jeanne said...

It was too cool and wet for them to do well here this summer, but there were about 3 weeks where people kept giving me beautiful red and yellow tomatoes, which I promptly dipped in boiling water, peeled, quartered, seeded and zipped into plastic bags. So I have a few "almost as good as fresh" tomatoes put away for winter.

Joanna Jenkins said...

You will have a great pantry to rely on this winter, you lucky girl.
xo

Kevin Musgrove said...

There's not much that can't be fixed by three random turnips from a sibling.

Travis Erwin said...

IMHO all veggies deserve a good canning. The trash can that is.

Scrappy Doo said...

No clue how to can. I can however, purchase and eat the heck out of some maters :-)

mapstew said...

Can cook, can't can!

Winter is coming early here.
(Yeah, like we had a summer!)

xxx

mbuna53 said...

I hope my jar is clean. That is were I keep my brain. I don't want my brain to go bad. Maybe it is to late......

Kavi said...

Preservatives !Preservatives that come jars !

Preservatives for life !

:)

@eloh said...

It seems to be becoming a lost art.

KMcJoseph said...

Why is it that Fall gets two names and none of the other seasons do?