Sunday, August 26, 2007

Tomato Follies

Well, we just finished canning some more tomato sauce here. I got a good deal on a half bushel at the farmers' market and, for some reason, decided it would be a good idea to spend a hot summer day in the kitchen with a steaming canning kettle. I wish I could justify this activity on economic grounds, but I figure it's costing us about 3 dollars a quart to make our own sauce - that is, about twice as much as it would cost me in the store. The peach jam I'm going to make tomorrow (good deal on those, too, wouldn't you know?) is even pricier - it comes out to 2 dollars a pint (that's 4 dollars a quart for you mathematics-phobes out there). I have to fall back on the educational justification - the kids need to learn how people made their food before the advent of supermarkets and year-round fresh produce. And let me tell you, my teenage daughter is really appreciating this lesson. About as much as she appreciates the lessons on how to clean a bathroom.

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10 comments:

  1. Ha. I still remember the summer my grandfather gave my mother a slew of cucumbers so she could make pickles. I don't think my mother was quite on board with that idea. My heat-hating mother, my sister, and I spent all day in a hot, steamy kitchen. They WERE good pickles, though!

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  2. Pickles....you know, that just might be our next project.

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  3. Oh, and don't forget all the joys of family togetherness!

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  4. Hey, do you mind if I pop over so you can show me how you do that? And maybe I can show you how I make chocolate chip cookies from scratch.

    Break apart roll into one inch squares and place 1/4 inch apart on non-greased baking sheet.

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  5. Next week you can take the kids to the grocery store and crush their pioneer spirits with a home economics lesson.

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  6. I made tomato relish this summer because I had some kind of latent Southern gene that made me do it. My pantry is full of delicious tomato relish. Nobody we know knows how to eat it or why. But I made it, by God (and the Southern Living Cookbook.)

    If I come up with a compulsion to deep fry a turkey, I'm going to move very, very far North.

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  7. I used to can too. I have three cans of tomato sauce from 1993 in my basement. Lovely shade of brown.

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  8. Oh, yeah - the "I can't throw it out it was too much work, but I can't use it we might all die" syndrome - I know it well.

    2-year-old applesauce, anyone?

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  9. I have not-so-found memories of my own mother canning in a hot, summer kitchen. We never liked the canned cherries (they just looked gross) but loved the applesauce. She did tomatos too.

    Tell your daughter now she can torture her offspring if she feels so inspired.

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