Wednesday, July 29, 2009

productivity, planning & canning

excellent surprise today - - -

i got a call from my secret professional mater farmer today with an offer of three 20lb boxes of over-ripe (a.k.a. perfect) maters for cheap cheap cheap. would i like to take up his offer? heck yeah!

i made sure the girls had fresh water and that bunny had a fresh iced jug of water to sit by before i hit the road. i drove out to the farm, picked up my "grown in a controlled temp green house" maters, (must be expensive to keep that greenhouse nice for maters in this heat woo-eii) paid for the maters and dashed home, stopping at the local store to supplement the canning jar numbers by a good two three dozen. this was no small amount of maters to put up. i was going to be busy for a while.

upon inspection, the maters looked great! sure there were some soft spots, there were also maters that had dark not so pretty spots but i knew i could trim those bits off and still be left with a fine chunk of tasty fruit. i washed them up one box at a time.

i brought out two big bowls of sliced maters to share with the chickeny creatures - we should all celebrate the goodness i thought, yeah? sure we should. my girls were right on top of those maters as soon as their little eyes caught site of the red fruits. happy campers? ohhh yeah.

once the girls were taken care of with mater treats, the fun began. i cooked up stewed maters. i cooked up a large low slow spicy roasted batch for sauce. i sliced a good number for drying. i have more that i have saved for drying once this first drying batch is finished.

batch by batch i prepped the goods, cooked the goods, jarred the goods, processed the goods and finally set them out to cool. lucky me, this batch in addition to the maters i have previously put up ensures at least a year's supply of mater sauce and a year's supply of stewed maters. the stores are looking good. i think i'll be able to eat without worry for ration come spring. that will be a first.

i don't know about you but i love stewed tomatoes. i use them allllllllll the time. their flavor just makes me happy and they are hugely versatile. it's going to be a great soup and pasta year, i can feel it.

so what can a person get from 60lbs of maters?
  • stewed maters - 22 quarts, 1 pint
  • spicy roasted mater sauce - 5 quarts, 1 pint
  • sundried maters - final tally - 4 full gallon sized storage bags - yipee!
pretty cool eh? yes it is.

also on today's schedule was the making and canning of my personal - made it up myself - gingerblue berry jam. i figured since the kitchen was already steamy, i may as well just crank the jam out. boy did it turn out amazing! i went pretty heavy on the ginger this round - oh my oh my oh my - just right - for ginger lovers that is. it has a slight spicy bite to it - yee haw! hmm, i'm thinking crackers with cheese and jam for breakfast in the morning. tre' freakin' yumme' bebe.
  • gingerblue berry jam - 1 pint, 12 1/2 pints
long day!
productive day - the last processed jar was set to cool at 10:15 pm - the pantry is packed. it is now hippychick's happy resting time

the moral of this story...
plan and can - cut your need for groceries later
put up food - fresh from the farm
save bucks

and and and just wait until the weekend. we are making cheese. we will be taking a shot at our very first batch of hard cheese. rock on hippychick universe rock on.


1 comment:

Conny said...

Whew! I'm just mopping my brow reading about canning tomatoes in the kind of heat you've been having there. Way to go! You've got ambition on your side, that's for sure.