Tomatoes that is!
I mentioned in yesterday's post that the garden is winding down. I guess the definition of that would be that I haven't been in the garden for FOUR days and took out 25 pounds of tomatoes, a gallon of cherry tomatoes, three cantaloupes, and several pounds of banana and jalapeño peppers. LOL.
This doesn't den count the three overloaded cherry tomato plants I didn't even bother picking because it gets dark quickly now. I also gave a few pounds of tomatoes and a splits, overripe cantaloupe to the girls. Boy, oh BOY, were they HAPPY!
I brought the large harvest basket in and let it sit for the night, deciding to sort and clean the basket the next morning. Lucky me, my basket had a large field cricket in it. It drove me nuts all night long chirping, moving somewhere elusive, and starting over just as I would give up looking and crawl back into bed. He stopped chirping on night #2, so I think something else, larger, in the house gold ahold of him. This is both a happy and scary thought!
What to do with even MORE tomatoes?! I have plenty of puréed. We love salsa, but we love my FRESH made salsa. We also can large bottles of a favorite national brand for about the same amount as I can make it. So I took a pass on making and canning salsa.
I opted for a double batch of pressure canner stewed tomatoes. I use one large can of a national brand with a large red shield on the green can every time I make spaghetti, so having pint jars in the Hoosier cabinet would be great !
I dug out my recipe and sorted my veggies. I did have to go purchase a sweet green bell pepper, as we are past the season here, and the celery, I had everything I needed on hand.
Again this is a PRESSURE CANNING RECIPE. You CANNOT safely steam or water bath this recipe.
Peel and quarter enough tomatoes for 6 quarts (12 pints)- about 4 pounds per quart
Add them to a large, heavy pot and add:
2 cups of chopped white onion
1 cup of chopped celery
1 cup of chopped green pepper
2T of white sugar
1/2T powdered garlic
1T of spaghetti seasoning
I slowly simmer this until it reduces by one third. At this point I hit the whole thing with my immersion blender and blend about half of the mixture, making sure to break up any large pieces of tomato, but leaving plenty of chunks.
Then carefully pour into prepared PINT jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace.
Then process in your pressure canner following its specific instructions for 15 minutes.
10 pounds of pressure under 1,000 Ft
15 pounds of pressure if you are canning above 1,000 ft.
I hope you enjoy this recipe. Now what to do with the next load of tomatoes?!