27 August 2012

Before the Sauce




From the late 1970's I think -- an end of summer haul of buckets and bags of tomatoes.
Caption on back reads "Before the sauce."


I spotted a display case of mason jars at the grocery store yesterday – a sure sign of autumn in Middle America. The very site of such a thing gets my sweaters all aflutter; Canning jars? Beach gear on clearance? And right next to the candy corn? Yessss!  

Growing up we always canned tomatoes. Lots of them. And not because we were Italian (don't I wish) but because it was the only thing that ever grew in abundance that was worth preserving. I tried canning some store-bought tomatoes a few years ago but it just wasn’t the same. Plus, each jar ended up costing about three times what it costs to buy a jar Paul Newman's sauce...and then Paul Newman went and died and I felt more obligated than ever to buy his sauce. This year I thought I would try my hand at homegrown again but they all disappeared off the vine before I got a chance to set them aside. I blame the squirrels. Or the slugs. Or maybe it’s a trickle-down effect of global warming. Or...zombies. 

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I'm taking a break through the end of August and posting nothing but pictures... Details here.  

10 comments:

  1. Hahaheee! Love that poster! I am making pickles this weekend, so excited! Sorry you didn't get to can this year...next year, in Jerusalem, okay?

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  2. Abso-tootly! I hear they really know how to can Jerusalem :)

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  3. We have a pear tree and I was looking forward to canning pears this fall. Unfortunately the squirrels decided the tree was a buffet and ate ALL of the pears. For two months, I was hauling a 5 gallon bucket of half-eaten pears to the compost EVERY DAY. I didn't used to have feelings about squirrels. Now I hate them.

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  4. Oh no! I hate them too. I'll hate them just for you, Kara. You are so lucky to have a PEAR TREE, my goodness!

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  5. Try the book "Canning for a New Generation" by Liana Krissoff
    It has small batch canning (like 6 pounds of fruit at a time) so you can hit the sales and make some really yummy stuff.

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  6. Hmmm... I will have to try it. I thought canning was an old fashioned traditional thing -- but I am up for a new approach!

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  7. My brother swears the zombies are coming...or maybe its just the squirrels. I dunno but him and his wife are squirrelin away alot of stuff! I have lots of jars. lol I pick em up for a nickel here and there but alas...they are all empty. So I make tea lights and such. Now thats canning!

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  8. No, Peaches, it wasn't the zombie squirrels. It's my dog, Riley, aka the reason I have no peppers or zucchinis this year :/

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  9. I really want to try canning but need things to can and am worried about not getting it right. I have got my heart set on making refrigerator dill pickles but am not sure I can justify the cost vs just buying them....

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  10. I really want to try canning but need things to can and am worried about not getting it right. I have got my heart set on making refrigerator dill pickles but am not sure I can justify the cost vs just buying them...

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