Lord knows, tomato season could not arrive without 95 degree temps and 100 degree heat indices!
Yesterday .... Debbie and Jim, Honey and I braved the kitchen and canned tomatoes.
I had high hopes of doing 50 quarts of tomatoes. Yea. That's a bunch. The vines were loaded .... the tomatoes beautiful. And I actually organized it well.
The jars were washed and organized on the kitchen table. 60 + canning jars. The roaster was filled with cherry tomatoes and most of the plum tomatoes. We cooked them down for juice.
I am very disappointed in the plum tomatoes this year. They are small. I really like the Amish Paste tomatoes but I didn't find them so I bought La Roma. So I will be searching for vast amounts of plum tomatoes before we start salsa.
Two hot water bath canners were heating up the stove.
I like to hot pack my tomatoes .... so the tomatoes get quartered and put into a large stock pot and cooked. Yesterday, I put a hot plate on the island.
We have a sold surface counter top there so it can take the heat.
I use the old bread box to organize my canning supplies. It has been helpful to keep all the lid lifters, funnels, lids, and fruit fresh in one place. I can quickly see what I am running low on and pick up another dozen lids or a box of rings and flats.
I plant a mix of heirloom and hybrid tomatoes. I love Early Girl for canning .... beautiful perfect red orbs of flavor. But I like a mix of colors and I love the rich intense flavors that an Orange Blossom or Amana Orange or Black Krim tomatoes add.
Notice the bottle of lemon juice??? Remember that Ball recommends two tablespoons of lemon juice in every quart of tomato products. And bottled lemon juice is best because it has a consistent ph.
We sweated. We sweated a lot.
And I am pretty certain if it wasn't for the great smell of tomatoes ....... my kitchen would have competed with the odor of any high school locker room!!!!
I was dripping!
Fortunately -- we kept hydrated!!! Thanks to the beer angel at Bent River! ;)
But we did break our record of 36 quarts of tomatoes in one day .... and we did 38.
Yes ... we did rock the world!!!
Friends, prayers, laughter, good food, good drink and fabulous tomatoes for the winter ........
The world gets no better than that!
I tell ya ......... my life is truly blessed!!!