Monday, September 15, 2008

The Queen of Tomatoes

Either my friend Kat or myself would've been completely deserving of this title after spending all day in my kitchen on Sunday. We had nearly fifty pounds between us, jars aplenty, and, well, maybe it's safe to say, a little too much ambition.

We were going to make salsa. And sauce. Oh, and chutney, relish, and sweet-and-sour sauce, and if we had any left over, we'd just do quarts of canned whole tomatoes in water. Just. The thing about canning, I've learned, is you need to be suspicious of any tendency your mind has to assume something will be quick and easy. With canning, it's never quick. It's wonderful work, meditative and slow. It's eternal and calming. But not quick.

The sink was full of tomatoes all morning. I think the water looks really cool in this shot:
Front burner: tomato sauce nearly boiling over. Back burner: salsa simmering down.
This is Kat, expertly applying the prescribed amount of salt to a huge vat filled with tomatoes, apples, and onions:
Said vat:
Here are some jars on my dining room table. This wasn't half of it, either. We ended up with seven quarts of sauce, four quarts of salsa, seven pints of relish, seven pints of sweet-and-sour sauce, eight half-pints of chutney, and five quarts of canned whole tomatoes.

My pal Kami over at G's Blue Eyes has a wonderful post about how autumn kicks domestic instincts into overdrive. Reading her blog, I couldn't help but think that's what must be at work in my head. I've hardly got my dishes from yesterday washed, and I'm already poring through the canning book, scheming up what I'll do with the rest of my week. Blueberry jam? Roasted peppers? Apple juice? The urge to provision the nest for winter is irresistable, joyous. Summer's sweet, hot days beg me to slack off, quit the house and go for a hike or a swim. But autumn calls me back, and I come, easily seduced by the temptations of a cozy house and a hot stove.

I've always been a sucker for a hot stove.


Kami said...

Yum! I love homemade sauce! Hmmmmm, maybe this weekend....

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