Our weekend started with dinner and a movie (Prisoners, which was both creepier than and better than the last movie we went to, The Conjuring). I went to brunch with a girlfriend on Saturday and then took advantage of the cold, rainy weather and spent a large part of the afternoon sitting on the couch. Once I got moving again to make dinner, I’d pretty much lost interest in pulling out my nice camera to take photos, so I made the executive decision to have an iPhone photo-only weekend post. Not that I put a ton of effort into my photos in the first place, but it was still nice to take a little break.
I was so excited to find kiwi berries at our co-op! Does a more adorable fruit exist?
Apple, sunbutter, tea and clearing our queue of RHOOC episodes
A slight exaggeration, but go Hawks!
Tomato sauce + freshly painted nails
Meatballs! I followed my standby meatball recipe and used half beef and half turkey with a grated zucchini thrown in for good measure.
Hot Toddy + slippers weather
Meatballs simmering in sauce
Sweet potato fries
Giardiniera, provolone and banana peppers for meatball subs and a creamy pesto dipping sauce for the fries (leftover pesto + greek yogurt + a little mayo + lemon juice)
Meatball sub + sweet potato fries
Farmers’ market purchases: rainbow carrots, eggplants and eggs
Sunday brunch: bagel with goat cheese and homegrown tomatoes, fried egg, kiwi berries and tea
I’ve had the itch to can tomatoes since I went crazy buying tomato plants in the spring, but with a late start to the summer and generally weird weather since then, our plants haven’t been producing at a rate outpacing our ability to eat them fresh. My backup plan was to buy tomatoes in bulk at the farmers’ market for canning, and for $9 I got about 13 lbs. (a peck?) of Roma tomatoes.
I’ve only canned food once before, and I was overambitious and in way over my head (I’m pretty sure there are still a few unopened, four-year-old quarts of sweet pickles sitting in my parents’ basement from that little project). I really wanted to keep it simple this time, which is not something that runs in my blood. I somehow mustered up some restraint and bought the $9 container of tomatoes instead of the $13 container that looked to be a better deal, and it was the perfect amount for a simple, afternoon project to ease myself back into the world of preserving food. From the time I started washing the equipment to the time I put the last jar in the pot to boil, it took maybe two hours.
My canning cookbook is nowhere to be found, so I used Food in Jars as my primary reference.
There are a million dos and don’ts related to canning, and with good reason, and I found both of these posts easy to follow without being super rigid. Most canning guides have me convinced that I’m going to kill myself and others if I don’t do everything perfectly, and that’s no good for someone like me who is terrible at following recipes.
I ended up with five quarts and one pint of canned tomatoes. I threw out three moldy tomatoes and have a handful left, so I probably could have made it an even six quarts. Either way, it’s far cheaper than buying them at the store…unless we get botulism.
The final product. I’m a little concerned about all of the air that’s in there, but from what I’ve read it seems like as long as the jars are sealed, discoloration is the only thing that I need to worry about. Are there any canning experts out there that can weigh in?
Snack + sunshine + shadows
Round two of meatball subs (I learned my lesson from the previous night where I only ate a small fraction of the bread and made open-faced sliders – genius!) + sweet potato fries + roasted purple cauliflower