Sunday, July 14, 2013

Summer Harvest

This summer has been unusually wet and cloudy. While I'm personally fond of wet and cloudy climates, my dad's tomatoes and corn have suffered a bit. At least he has them this year as opposed to the veggie drought of 2012. We've canned tomatoes and rattlesnake beans and frozen creamed corn so far this year. The summer squash must really cherish the wet soil because we can't give it away fast enough (we don't store summer squash because it taste gross and has a lousy texture after it has been frozen.) I eat enough of them during summer to keep my cravings sated until next season.

I have the impression, from speaking with my friends, that storing vegetables on a large scale is a dying form of survival. For some reason I thought we were making a comeback thanks to the new interest in sustainable living. I will post pictures of my canning set up at some point.

Saturday was a tomato canning day and I canned most the day. Today I will rest, but tomorrow I will be right back to it again and making tomato jam. It's a lovely condiment that my entire family fell in love with when my Granny made and shared it way back when. We eat it on field peas for the most part, but I smear it on sandwiches rather than using mayo and it's lovely. It is great served with cream cheese and crackers, or with crackers and cheddar. This is the recipe I follow:

Tomato Jam
1.5 pints

3 1/2pounds tomatoes, coarsely shopped
1 small onion, chopped
1/2cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1teaspoon salt
1/2teaspoon coriander
1/4teaspoon cumin
1/4cup cider vinegar
juice of 1 lemon
Put all ingredients in a 2-quart pot. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until thickened to a jam-like consistency, about 3 hours. Transfer to sterilized glass jars and store in refrigerator for up to two weeks, or use a hot-water canning bath for 15 minutes for long-term storage.
It's time to read a while then sew a little more on my Grandmother's Garden (renamed Mama's Garden because I'm not a grandmother. )
Again, I will post pictures once I discover the easiest way to use pictures that I've taken with my phone. Picasa confuses me, sending them to Google worries me because they don't value my privacy. I'll post them soon. I'm so excited about this project and I can't wait to share.
Ta! for now!

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