I have a nice political post still swirling in my head, but today I'd like to post about tomatoes. I have mentioned previously that the garden has been very prolific this year in terms of tomato production. I usually eat about 2-3 tomatoes a week, but the garden has been producing 20-30 a week. I have been preserving them by simply cutting them up and putting them in Ziploc bags in 16 oz portions which then get tossed in the freezer. I now have a freezer full of Ziploc bags. Last week Kitty made a recipe that required stewed tomatoes. She decided to make her own. We learned 2 lessons. The first was that if you blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for 30 seconds before plunging them into ice water, the skins come right off. Secondly, if a recipe calls to add water to the tomatoes to stew them, skip it. The tomatoes are plenty juicy on their own. Since I had lots of jars and several lids left over from my previous foray into pickling a few years ago, I decided that I would try my paw at canning tomatoes. I read that since tomatoes are naturally acidic, they preserve quite easily. What I found interesting was that people prefer sweeter tomatoes that are less acidic, so they have been bred over time to be less acidic, especially tomatoes found in stores. Less acidity means greater chance for spoilage. My tomatoes tasted pretty sweet, so I got around the potential problem by adding just a little bit of lemon juice to every jar. I also learned that if you add onions and/or peppers to make Italian-style tomatoes, you have to use a pressure cooker to prevent possible botulism due to, once again, insufficient acidity. Everything went fine. I used up almost all of the tomatoes I had stored in the refrigerators and ended up with 11 pints. So now the experiment will be to see how long they last.
As part of my using LJ to document climate change, I should mention that we have not yet had our first freeze and we just broke the record for latest date for the low temperature not falling below 40. What this means is that I STILL have tomatoes to be harvested.