Monday, September 24, 2012

3 lbs of Beets, 3 lbs of Kale and 40 lbs of Tomatoes

September is flying past.  
I am trying to soak up the last few days of summer and the first of fall. 
This involves pulling things out of the garden, into my kitchen and preserving food in jars. 
I pulled the largest of my second and third planting of beets, (they were so small, sigh, in spite of the watering), scrubbed them, boiled them and pickled them.  I am trying out a few new canning recipes and using a few of my old standbys. 

Really, this process should not have taken more than a few hours, but some how it took me all day.  By nighttime four ruby red pint jars stood on my kitchen table. This new recipe only contains half a cup of honey..  although, I will admit, that I am going to make a second batch of pickled beets using my old sugar laden recipe because I don't think the kids will be chowing these down with quite as much enthusiasm. 

I picked arm fulls of my blue curly leaf kale.  Running back and forth from garden to kitchen to set the leaves on the scale and go get more.  This is what three pounds of kale looks like.

A giant billowing pile that takes up most of my kitchen table. Once again I underestimated just how long it would take me to process three pounds of kale.  It takes a long time to cut all the center ribs out of three pounds of Kale leaves.  A LONG TIME!
By dinner time seven pint jars of pickled kale, yes, pickled kale, lined my counter and our dinner was also ready.  I pulled up a few more of my skinny beets and a few of the remaining onions and made a caramelized onion, beet, feta and walnut pizza drizzled with balsamic vinegar.

The last few summers, I turned in my Volunteer for Veggies hours for tomatoes at the end of the growing season.  But this summer, I have fewer hours, and the frost a few weeks ago ended the season for all of the field tomatoes at the CSA, so I finally relented and purchased forty pounds of tomatoes from the Missoula Community Food Coop. 

While these forty pounds, were nothing compared to the trunk full of tomatoes I brought home last year, it kept me (and the kids) busy for days.  Sixteen beautiful pint jars of spiced tomato sauce now line my shelves as well as three half pint jars of thicker pizza sauce.
I have washed all the pots, the tomato mill, empty jars are back in their hiding spots and for the moment I am going to take a break of my kitchen and move all of us back into the upstairs.  (Pictures coming soon, I promise.)

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I should have saved my comments about my one and only time of making ketchup and written the comments here instead! I'll never forget countless trips back to the neighborhood grocery for more tomatoes and then having only one TINY jar of ketchup to show for the time. I had no idea ketchup required so many tomatoes, so much time, and made such a mess! I was in college so I had the excuse of no more time to spend on more tomatoes:)