If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

It's Canning and Freezing Season!

Monday was the day for freezing squash.  We cut it up into slices and I cooked us up a batch to eat.  While dinner was on the stove, we cut up some more, dipped it into milk, dipped it into a dry batter of corn meal, flour, and spices, and laid it out on wax paper on cookie sheets to freeze.

Tuesday was the day for freezing okra.  Again, we cut it up into slices and dipped it into milk, dipped it into the dry batter, and laid it out on wax paper for freezing.  We turned out two quart freezer bags filled really full at a time.  That makes enough for a meal with company or for the two of us and leftovers for lunches.

Wednesday I froze three quarts of blanched squash in freezer bags for casseroles.  I simply sliced it into pieces, dropped it into boiling water for three minutes, plunged it into ice water, drained it, and bagged it for the freezer.

Thursday afternoon we picked squash, okra, and tomatoes.  We gave most of that afternoon's squash and okra away, saving only enough for dinner.  I washed off all the tomatoes and laid them out to dry.  The kitchen counters were full of tomatoes - all of them!  There  was a total of about three five-gallon buckets full of tomatoes.  I didn't make a photo but it was much like this bounty:

This afternoon was tomato canning day.  First, I dipped the tomatoes into boiling water for 30-60 seconds.  Then, plunged them into cold water.  Next I slipped the peeling off and cut them into chunks.  From there, I put them into the juicer for squeezing and straining out the seeds and large pieces of pulp.  I used this mechanism that belongs to Mama.

It worked beautifully.  I simmered the juice at 190 degrees for five minutes.  Poured it into jars, added a teaspoon of sugar and two tablespoons of lemon juice.  This made nine quarts of tomato juice that I processed in a boiling water bath.

I took the left-over pulp and pureed it.  Then, I cooked it for five minutes at 190 degrees.  Next, I dipped it out of the pot and poured it into jars before processing them in a boiling water bath as well.  I wound up with three quarts and a pint of pureed tomatoes.  Plus, there was about a half-pint that I just poured into a zip-top bag and froze.

We love soups, chili, spaghetti, lasagna, and such.  So, this winter, we will have home-grown tomatoes in our bowls!

I felt so good because I cleared the counters off and only had this few tomatoes left for salads, sandwiches, and just plain slices for the week.

Then, Mike came in from his afternoon of cutting grass, feeding calves, and gardening.

Tomorrow looks like another canning or freezing day!