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Tomato extravacanza

By Penny Stine

My gardening buddy (who's also my canning buddy) and I have been picking tomatoes like crazy, peeling them and then sticking them in gallon freezer bags. Both of our freezers are full of tomatoes, so we decided it was time to can. Seriously, we had 38 gallon size freezer bags full of tomatoes, so it was definitely an extravacanza.

We can in my kitchen because it's nice and roomy, with a stove that can fit two canning kettles and access on both sides. As you can see, we needed all the room we could get. 

What this photo doesn't show are the bags (and bags) of frozen/thawing tomatoes and the empty-but-soon-to-be-filled jars.


We worked pretty much from 1 p.m. to about 7:30 p.m., canning about 60 quarts of various flavors of tomatoes (we did some with tomatilos, some with Italian herbs, some with green chiles) and 13 pints of salsa. A fine days work. We still have eight frozen gallons of tomatoes that we ran out of time and energy to can, so we made a date to can again in two weeks. Maybe by then all the green ones I picked last week and the few I left on the vine to get bigger will also be ripe.

I think there's lots of pasta sauce, chili, soup and Mexican food in my culinary future this winter.  


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