It is that time of year when part of every day is spent harvesting, prepping for the freezer, or canning. I don’t like to use plastic, so even most frozen stuff goes in jars, then neatly stacked in wire baskets or canvas bags in the chest freezer. Mostly now is canning. The morning harvest wasn’t huge, but since there was 1/3 of yesterday’s tomato purchase plus a couple pounds from the garden, I’m ok with that. The tomatillos are prolific, the cucumbers that I thought were done just provided half a dozen more and more growing.
The product that takes the longest prep are the spicy Bread and Butter pickles, so the cucumbers, peppers, and onions were sliced and salted and stowed away in the refrigerator until time to heat them in the sugar brine and can them. One daughter in law loves them and I usually only make a single batch of 4 or 5 pints as the past few years the cucumbers haven’t produced much. This year there will be 3 batches done by the end of today, a total of 14 pints. One pint was delivered to her when grandson was returned home last weekend.
Once they were salted, the tomatoes that were harvested this morning were blanched and peeled, the frozen ones dumped in a sink of water to thaw enough to peel and chop, dumped in the big pot with herbs, salt, and citric acid and cooked down for canning.
Also from this morning was the start of the pepper harvest and some of them were cut and seeded to dehydrate, 2 were added to the pickles, and 3 were used with the tomatillos to make another batch of Tomatillo Jalapeno jam.
There are still several quarts of pickled Jalapenos from last year, so some of this year’s will be dehydrated and some sliced and frozen to use in chili and casseroles this winter.
The final result today from the remaining tomatoes, and the bucket of produce from this morning’s harvest was 8.5 pints of tomato sauce, 5 half pints of Tomatillo Jalapeno Jam, and 4 pints of spicy Bread and Butter pickles.
I started at 8:30 this morning, took a lunch break and trip to the local village store for more lids, and I ended at 2:50 p.m. with jars and more jars cooling on the counter to be added to the shelves tomorrow. Now time to rest.
The garden had me intimidated earlier this summer, but now that it is producing, the putting by being done, I look forward to enjoying and sharing the labors when the cold winds blow and the snow flurries this winter.