Saturday mornings are usually spent going to the local diner for breakfast then on to the Farmers’ Market. Not today. Today the morning was spent processing the last two baskets of tomatoes, both green and red, many with spots that had to be cut away. I started with the green, as my end product was to be Green Tomato Chutney from http://foodinjars.com/2010/11/green-tomato-chutney/. The cooking part of this one takes an hour and a half or more. It was prepped and set to simmer on a back burner. Next up were the remaining red tomatoes that were pared of cores and bad spots, diced and tossed into another large pot with some salt. On the last functional and largest burner was the pressure canner with the requisite 3 quarts of water and 2 tablespoons of white vinegar as we have hard water and I didn’t want white rings on the jars. Loaded inside were my last 7 pint jars full of hot water to heat until filling time. The red tomatoes filled those jars with some to spare, so a quick jaunt out to the garden to harvest a pound or so of Tomatillos and some hot peppers and with an onion, some garlic, a toss of herbs, a bit of chopping, the tomatoes became salsa. It was left to cook down some while the diced tomatoes canned and cooled enough to remove from the canner.
While I was standing at the kitchen window, enjoying the outside while doing dishes, I spotted a coyote in the hayfield.
They have been very vocal the past few nights and while I got the binoculars to check him out and my phone to take the distant photo, I spotted two more. All three were taking their time sauntering across the newly mowed hayfield, into the woods and up toward the house. They passed close enough to the house that the dogs indoors became very agitated.
The only jars left on hand were a new flat of half pints that I bought with the idea of making the chutney, so nine of them were washed, filled with hot water and scalded in the canner. The end result was 5 half pints of salsa, 5 half pints of chutney. One of the chutney’s didn’t even go in the canner, it will travel with me this week to the spinning retreat with a block of Neufchatel cheese and a box of crackers to share at the happy hour. A half pint of salsa and a bag of chips will also go.
It has been a good season for tomatoes, unlike last year when we didn’t get enough to get up through the winter. It was not a good year for beans thanks to the bunnies. The shelves are stocked with tomato products. The freezer with chicken and peas. This week I will purchase one more flat of jars and a basket of local apples and can one batch of applesauce, then the canner will be packed away for another year.
My session ended with a sandwich and a fried green tomato that I set aside just for my lunch.