Eat Veggies, save the planet

What grows in Austin in 105 degree temperatures.
June 26, 2009, 12:09 am
Filed under: gardening

The tomatoes are dying. You can hardly garden in Austin in July or August. Today it is 105 degrees. So hot so early in the season. The pool is 96 degrees, barely cooling at all. Some plants are doing well in the garden , the okra, the sweet potatoes and  the Italian pole zucchini, Trombocino Squash (Zucchetta Rampicante).

 So hot, so early.


How I can my tomatoes
June 17, 2009, 1:18 am
Filed under: canning and freezing

My gardening friend Jerry says he has the time but not the know how to can so I am posting this for him. I also told him to get a ball canning book and just follow their directions. Anyway this is how I do it. Funky but oh so delicious. I mix orange, yellow , green and red tomatoes in my sauce.  I use whatever is ripe from the garden.

First I get out everything I need.

  • canner
  • 7 pints or 7 quarts
  • slotted spoon
  • canning funnel
  • lids and bands
  • wooden spoon
  • ladle
  • canning tongs
  • one 4 quart pot
  • one heavy duty 6 quart pot
  • one stainless frying pan 9 inches
  • one stainless frying pan 6 inches
  • 4 trays of ice
  • 14-21 ponds of ripe tomatoes
  • a bunch of basil
  • a head of garlic

Then I begin.

  1. I weigh out my tomatoes.  Three pounds make one quart or 2 pints.
  2. I put water to boil in the 4 quart pot
  3. Fill the sink with water and add ice.
  4. When water comes to a boil put in tomatoes and let them boil for 2 minutes to loosen skins.
  5. Take out with slotted sppon into large frying pan and dump in ice water to cool.
  6. Put 6 qt pot nearby.
  7. Decore tomatoes and take off skins.
  8. Cut nude tomatoes into chunks and put in 6 qt pot.
  9. Repeat steps 4-8 until all the tomatoes are in the pot.
  10. Fill canner with water and turn on high.
  11. Put tomatoes on the stove and turn to high
  12. Add 8 or so cloves garlic, 2 handfuls of garlic and  1 TBSP of salt to the tomatoes. Taste.
  13. Bring to a boil, turn down and let simmer for 15 minutes or so
  14. Put lids in hot water in small frying pan to soften.
  15. Dip clean jars in hot canner water to semisterilize.
  16. fFll jars leaving 1 inch air space on top.
  17. Wipe tops with wet towel, put on lids and screw on bands.
  18. Set jars  on canner rack and immerse in the water.
  19. Bring to a boil and  leave at a rolling boil for 35 minutes for pints and 45 minutes for quarts.
  20. Lift cans with rack. Let sit for a minute and then remove to counter with canning tongs.
  21. Let sit for 24 hours.
  22. Unscrew bands, label and date with permanent marker, wash off if necessary and put away for the winter.