Thursday, August 27, 2009
We are finally getting some of our long awaited tomatoes. I thought that with twenty-four plants, I would be drowning in them, but we've been scarfing them down as fast as they ripen on pizzas, in tomato/basil/feta dip, and of course, heavily sprinkling our beloved nachos. Which I have had twice for dinner this week. And once for lunch.
I did have enough of a surplus so far to can six measly pints of tomatoes, one of which exploded and one which didn't seal. This was a blow to my canning self esteem. It was already fragile since I tried my hand at canning peaches earlier in the week. Dean and I did six quarts of peaches, with a three-year-old helping to peel (think sweet sticky peach juice hither and yon), but were disappointed to find that all six had succumbed to that dread canning disease,"floating fruit." Floating fruit means that your fruit all rises to the top of the jar, leaving juice on the bottom few inches, instead of settling nicely to the bottom and looking all pretty and stacked. Where is my grandma when I need her? I am quite sure her fruit never floated. And probably always sealed. And surely never exploded all over her kitchen.
I'm hoping to amass some more tomatoes to try another round. I can't help myself. The lure of those jars, lined up and stuffed with the red and yellow jewels of the sweat of my brow, makes the boiling temperatures, the mounds of peels, the rivulets of juices, the heartbreak of unsealed lids, worth it. I am stalking the neighborhood waiting for the few gardeners around who put out their extra produce to take. Really there are such people. People who grow TOO many tomatoes, TOO much broccoli, a SURPLUS of green peppers. It boggles the mind. I would sooner put Molly out by the roadside in a plastic sack labeled "FREE" (and believe you me, last night's bedtime protest had me strongly considering it) than put my dear produce there. The very thought of it. Really, it chills me.