...and more tomatoes and more tomatoes. I don't know why the good Lord has seen fit to bless me with so many tomatoes, but I will take them. So far I am up to 130ish pounds of just Roma tomatoes, and we are just now on a roll. I also have better boy and cherry. This past weekend has been a circular process of picking, cooking, milling, cooking down, canning, picking...... 9 pints salsa and 9 pints of pizza sauce this weekend and another 2 pints of salsa and 11 pints pizza sauce waiting in the wings for tonight's canning adventure. That's a total of 17 pints of salsa and 20 pints of pizza sauce. I'll also start the next batch of tomatoes cooking. Uh...and pick some more. SEE WHAT I MEAN!
True confession time here. I am not the Donna Reed of canning. Don't envision me happily ensconced in my kitchen singing like Snow White as the birds help me can. Yea. I wish. There are times, and they are coming, where I begin to tell my plants "You know you can die now". Gone will be the days of joyfully seeing another baby whatever. There will also be times where I will can the easiest recipe just to get the produce processed. And there are days when I think maybe I shouldn't garden next year. I know SHOCK! But I can tell you now come January I will be back on the gardening band wagon.
Is it worth it? Yes. A resounding YES! All the dirty sweaty work in the garden, the never ending canning, the weeds, the bugs, etc. It is still worth it in the long run. Why? Well money for one. I can make/grow these items for pennies compared to the price of them in the store. Try looking for a jar of tomato sauce with no preservatives, pesticides, or other funny business for less than the full of funny business brand. You can find a jar of good sauce, but you will pay for the privilege. 1 small can of green beans at the store now costs you $1. I can grow and can my own for 1/4 of that maybe less and that includes the canning lid! And taste! Nothing in the world tastes better than veggies and fruits you grow yourself. They are picked when ripe instead of picked unripe and gassed up to ripen on the trip to whatever store where which you buy. I know what goes on my fruits and veggies. No guessing there. I know when they were picked; how fresh they are. My home grown spinach will last for weeks in the fridge as opposed to the store bought which is brown in a week. Lastly, there is a sense of satisfaction with being self sufficient in any amount. I may not be totally self sufficient (yet), but I am in this category. When the winters chill is in the air, I will be able to open up jars of fresh homey goodness to feed my family.
So I can, can, can, can, can. Yep! It is worth all the work. Now if you had asked my teenage self about gardening and canning, I would have looked at you like you had two heads and rapidly volunteered to clean house instead of going to the garden. Yea. Those days are gone.
Okay so off to can more sauce.