Remember this post when I said to ask me how I feel about our tomato jungle in a few weeks? Well, it has been a few weeks and I am up to my eyeballs in tomatoes. Everyday, beautiful red globes shine from the garden. Red globes that I swear were green the day before. I find myself thinking...how did I miss this one yesterday? Navigating the tomato jungle is now a daily adventure. The ripe fruit is them piled on my kitchen window sills and in my fruit basket waiting to be turned into fresh tomato sauce, canned for later use or eaten freshly sliced with homemade mozzeralla and home-grown basil. Ah...summer is grand.
Tomatoes have not been the only produce gracing my counter-tops. I have also been canning beans and pickles from the garden. Our bean plants have slowed down at the moment but they are covered in a new crop of flowers. Our bees are busy pollinating and we expect another bumper crop of beans in about a week. Last week you would have found me processing fresh picked blueberries making them into no-sugar added jam and freezing the rest. Farmer's Market peaches were turned into Jalapeno Peach Chutney today!
I think my summers can be defined by my canning calendar. Ebbs and flows of ripening food determine what days I am free to manage my own time and which days I am chained to the metal beast that is my pressure canner. Don't get me wrong, canning is wonderful, just often time consuming and a little tedious. Oh and there is nothing like steaming up your kitchen on a 100 degree day!
Thermometer in the shade!
I love to preserve food. The self-sufficient nature of the whole process, the sense of pride in producing a beautiful jar of food, nothing can take the place of those feelings. There is something very satisfying when you hear the "clink" of a mason jar sealing as it cools. A sound that I know generations of homemakers have relished for many summers before now. Every clink fast-forwards me to this winter when I will open a jar of tomatoes, as red and tasty as the day they were put in that jar. Every clink is another homemade gift for Christmas and birthdays. Every clink reminds me of why I am here...making my career as a homemaker, providing for my family and preserving a way of life that will never go out of style.
Beans and the some of the tomato sauce I canned yesterday (aren't they pretty!)
I canned this hot sauce hubby made from our hot peppers!
And..one very hot dog chilling in the A/C...not sure why he is lying in this position...I promise his neck is not broken. Sometimes I think he is just trying to make himself look miserable...as if I would feel sorry for this spoiled pup!