Thought I would tell you about an evening of “putting things by” around here. I find it’s a lot more manageable if I fit it into the rest of my life, and not try to set time aside to do it.
One, pick what’s ready, but also what you can manage:
Boothby’s Blonde cukes are ready! They’re practically a food group with the kid. She probably won’t even share. But these are about 10 pounds of Bellstar Paste tomatoes and a couple of Hillbilly Potato Leaf/Flame tomatoes too, as well as a pepper, celery and an onion and some marjoram and thyme for sauce. There’re pole beans (Blue Coco, Rattlesnake) at the bottom that’ll go in the freezer.
Core tomatoes, quarter, stick in saucepot and cook to soften. Put water on for pasta. Chop onion, celery; brown in 2nd pot. Cut up pepper, add garlic, add to onions. Drain pot of tomatoes into food mill above onion mixture. Add pasta to boiling water.
Mill the tomatoes into sauce. Ladle into jars, cap. Drain pasta, toss with leftover sauce, add salt and pepper and keep warm for dinner. Add water into bottom of pressure canner, then add jars. Set lid and weight on top and turn on heat.
While waiting for the thing to come up to pressure, tip and tail beans, put in small pot to steam. Pressure is achieved when the dial says 10 pounds AND the weight is jiggling; lower heat, put timer on for 15 minutes. Beans are almost done; peel and slice cucumbers for dinner, call family to eat. Sauce processes during dinner; I get up when the bell rings to take the pot off the heat and wait for it to come off pressure.
Go to beach and swim, then come back and play with chickens and geese/turkeys/chicks/ducks.
Come back and tip/tail the rest of beans, blanch in boiling water 2 minutes, chill in ice water, then put in sealing bags. Label and put in freezer. Wait until next day to put tomatoes away.
Now, go outside and catch lightning bugs.
Note: Of course, when I am going to blog about it, for the second time in my life, a jar has broken in the canner! Yep, 10 years and countless jams/pickles/veggies/fruits/sauces later, it happens. Oh well.