Two weekends of abundance!

Every summer I preserve the season’s bounty. I’ve just finished a huge weekend of canning, following last weekend’s canning session, and my cupboards are full.

The last weekend of August found us with cucumbers and beets in abundance, and the peaches at the farmers market were just too good to pass up. So in one long day, we processed:

many filled canning jars

  • 6 pint jars experimental tomato sauce (new type to us)
  • 7 pints Bread + Butter pickle slices
  • 9 pints sliced peaches in light syrup
  • 2 pints applesauce (a very small batch)
  • 4 pints spiced beets
  • 1 quart kohlrabi + radish refrigerator pickles
  • and because I couldn’t stand to waste the fragrant peach peels…
  • 2 quarts peach cordial, from the peach peelings, sugar, and vodka – which will be ready to drink in about 6 months

That was one tough day. So tough, in fact, that my shoulders were sore and aching. We knew we wanted to put up lots more tomatoes, but decided a slower pace would be better. Labor Day weekend, with its Monday holiday, became our Weekend of Tomatoes. On Saturday, we bought 1 1/2 bushels of fine ripe Romas at the local farmers market, and began our red-stained adventure. I wanted to put up several different sauces, partly because last year’s tomatoes were wonderful BUT I didn’t write down what I did! I vowed this year would be different.

A half-bushel of tomatoes is a lot of tomatoes, and we had three! That was about 75 lbs to handle. Our total yield this weekend:

  • 7 pint jars tomato sauce #2 (last weekend’s experimental was #1)
  • 7 pint jars tomato sauce #3
  • 6 half-pint jars tomato juice
  • 19 pint jars Marinara sauce (that’s #4)
  • 13 4-oz jars roasted tomato paste
  • 9 pint jars roasted tomato sauce with peppers and onions (#5)

Some of the sauces were processed in a boiling-water bath, others in the pressure canner. At times we had both going at once! As we go through the year, I’ll keep notes on the taste of the various sauces. Next year’s tomato weekend will most likely be simpler.

Look for a future post with some photos.