And the shelves fill

Yesterday’s tomatoes, became today’s pizza sauce. I still don’t have the lids I ordered, still can’t purchase anything but wide mouth ones locally, but I grabbed the 8 regular mouth ones I found on new jars in the basement and made pizza sauce. I tripled the recipe which says it makes 2 half pint jars, but from experience, I know it makes more than that, so I put 8 half pint jars in the biggest stockpot with the strainer basket, that is all that will fit and all the lids I had. It was set to boil to sterilize the jars and later can them and I poured boiling water over the scored and cored tomatoes in two batches. Once one batch was peeled, cored, and diced, the seasoning was added and it started cooking down as I added the second batch of diced tomatoes. When it is a rough sauce, thick enough for pizza, it is ladled into the jars, sealed, and put in the water bath to can.

The sauce filled the 8 jars and there was a pint left, so it was put in a wide mouth pint with a new lid and it will go in the freezer with the pasta sauce, peas, and beans.

I will make pasta sauce from the remaining tomatoes that are harvested this season, there were several more turning pink that I saw when I went out to let the hens out this morning.

As I write this, I hear the satisfying pop of sealing lids on the counter in the kitchen. There will be 15 half pint jars on the shelves and the pint in the freezer. With the quarter pint that went into the freezer with the last batch, that is more than enough for a pizza a week for the next year.

The Tomatillos from yesterday, though enough for a batch of sauce, were frozen until I get more lids. Son 1 likes the Tomatillo/Jalapeno sauce as green salsa, so I will probably can it for him to use, the first batch will provide enough for my cooking needs. As the Tomatillos are producing prolifically now and will until a frost, I will probably make a batch of Tomatillo Pepper jam which is a good substitute for a barbeque glaze or as a condiment on a Charcuterie plate. Then any more after that will just be frozen for soup or canned halves in quart jars for the same purpose. They can be added to chili or pozole.

Yesterday morning, I took stock of the dry goods in the house, consolidated jars, washed a dishwasher full of dusty jars, and made a list of pastas, soups, rice, and cereals that can be bought in larger quantities and stored so that we will have to make fewer trips to town if Covid increases here or if we have a bad winter. We will make a large grocery run this week and then keep a close eye on the daily reports on both the virus and the weather. I worry a bit that so much has been frozen with the hurricane that is about to slam Texas or Louisiana with current tracking showing it may turn east after landfall and hit us with some wind and rain next week. We don’t have a generator to keep the freezer going. If I were to plan this house again, the water catchment system that was to be used to water livestock we never got, would be exchanged for a whole house generator that would at least keep the freezer, refrigerator, and well pump going during power outages. Though I don’t like canned vegetables, if I could get lids, the pasta sauce in the freezer could be thawed, boiled, and canned. First we couldn’t get toilet paper, flour, and yeast. Now you can’t get canning lids. I have never canned pasta sauce in wide mouth jars, and usually use pints, but I might can it in wide mouth pints, and if I can get my hands on a dozen regular mouth lids, I could do quarts, I have plenty of jars.

The garden continues to provide. Last night I opened a jar of last year’s applesauce and noted it was canned on 9/19/2019, so it is only a few short weeks until the fruit on the trees is ready to harvest and make into fruit sauces and jams.

I would love to hear your comments on this post.

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