I had another canning session yesterday. I have a bumper crop of tomatoes this year! There are plenty for us to eat, for me to can, and to ~ reluctantly ~ share with the chickens.
I am having to learn to pace myself with my work this year since all my helpers have grown up and are out-and-about with other things, but that's okay, because I've decided I can actually enjoy my own company. I'm not so bad to be around. :) I think I am actually becoming a little wiser in my current ~ not old ~ age. I have streamlined my tomato-canning steps and written them on a little card so that I can zip right through without having to think through each little step. Here's my own Smart-Canner's Step-by-Step guide:
1. Put jars in dishwasher and run through wash and sanitizing cycle.
2. De-stem and wash tomatoes while boiling a big saucepan of water.
3. Peel tomatoes. (Dip in boiling water for a couple of minutes, then dump in ice water and peels will almost float off.)
4. Quarter and core tomatoes and run through food processor. (We don't like stringy or clumpy tomatoes in our soups and chili.)
5. Put tomatoes in large soup pot and heat to boiling.
6. Ladle hot tomatoes into sterilized jars, adding:
Quarts: 2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
Pints: 1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
7. Wipe off jar rims with clean dishcloth.
8. Cap with sterilized lids.
9. Add to waterbath canner and process:
Quarts ~ 45 minutes
Pints ~ 40 minutes
And TA-DA! The fruits of my labor!
I left out the most important step from my list though. A step that I have to remind myself of while I'm in the midst of my busy-ness. Step 10: Be good to Sherry. Take a mid-morning break and have a little snack. Yogurt and fresh, sweet strawberries on this day. Yum!!!
And stop in time to cook up some lunch; fragrant, crisp bacon to add with lettuce and a fresh-from-the-garden tomato for a scrumptious BLT. Add a sweet, mouth-watering nectarine, a good-for-me Hershey's Nugget, and glass of cold, whole milk and I'm now refreshed and ready to get that canning finished up!