Tomato Canning Season

August 30, 2012 · 8 comments

I love canning tomatoes. I really do. Even though it is a whole lot of work, it’s a pleasant kind of labor. On my feet, in the zone, up to my elbows in juice and pulp, making a total mess without worrying about when or how I’m going to get it cleaned up. I’ll mop the floor in a month or so when this madness is over.

I got a big box of tomatoes from my mom yesterday. Our own tomatoes have been a little neglected this year due to the fact that Henry’s been working on so many other projects, and I haven’t been much help, but my parents’ garden is coming on amazingly strong. I preserved these tomatoes with the raw-packed method using a boiling water canner. If you’re interested, I wrote up a whole tutorial on Wayward Spark last summer, which you can find here.

Last year, I did up sixty-something quarts, which I think may have been a little extreme. In the end, we only had 12 quarts leftover, so I’m shooting for 40ish this year. I packed and boiled 14 jars today, but for whatever reason, four or five of them didn’t seal, (very frustrating!), so we’ll see how far I get.

I got a blog comment mid-day from the always lovely and talented Mae Chevrette (who recently was featured in O Magazine, which means I internet-know a REAL celebrity!), suggesting I try baking this quiche in my barbecue. Maybe I was a little crazy from a day of canning, so I took up the challenge, making a few tweaks to the recipe. I started with this crust from 101 Cookbooks (my go-to crust, forever and always) and added a bunch of our fresh eggs, some goat milk, rosemary, basil (including a few leaves of purple basil that you can sorta see in the photo), sautéed onion, fresh tomatoes, homemade chévre, salt, pepper, and a couple dashes of red chile flakes (also homemade). I popped it into a preheated barbecue on medium-high for about forty minutes until everything was all golden and bubbly.

It was a deliciously perfect end to a long day.

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