Friday, July 24, 2009

About tomatoes, and more abundance

Pat/Texas (thanks for the nice compliment to my blog, Pat) asked, in a comment: "Question...do you put any lemon/lime in your tomatoes when canning? Some recipes call for it and actually say it has to be done, some don't mention it."

I looked at some USDA specifications on the Minnesota Extension Service website and found that, indeed, they recommend the addition of lemon juice. This is because some varieties of tomatoes aren't considered acid enough to be safely canned on their own. The varieties mentioned there are: Ace, Ace 55VF, Beefmaster Hybrid, Big Early Hybrid, Big Girl, Big Set, Burpee VF Hybrid, Cal Ace, Delicious, Fireball, Garden State, Royal Chico, and San Marzano.

One could use a pressure-canner with any tomatoes, and they'd be safe to use with no worries about acidity.

Once again, I live on the edge. I cold-pack tomatoes, and I have never added anything to make them more acid. However, I have not used any of the varieties mentioned above.

Of the ten quarts of tomatoes I put up today, two jars didn't seal. I'll put them in the refrigerator and re-do them tomorrow, after taking off the lids and making sure there are no seeds or chunks preventing a seal. I'll also use new flats on them.

To add to our plentiful food supply around here, the retired neighbor across the highway who often brings us fish showed up once again, with a cooler full of dressed catfish. He always tells me to take what I want, and I don't want to appear to be a glutton. So I tried to get Cliff to do it, but his hands were dirty.

I said, "I never know how many to take," and Cliff said, "Don't be silly; get us some fish."

I showed him. I just kept getting more catfish until he protested. Ha!

Sunday is turnip-planting day, and I went out in the midst of the weeds (I have plenty) and crops in the garden to till up a place to plant my turnips. I mostly plant them in memory of my mom, who loved them so much. Cliff hates them.

Remember the rule:
Plant turnips the twenty-fifth of July, wet of dry
Harvest turnips the twenty-fifth of October,
drunk or sober.


I use that saying in memory of the man who taught it to me, Don Owings. A sweet, sweet man, God rest his soul.

1 comment:

Hollie said...

Oh there's nothing like fresh tomatoes...especially in winter time.

LOL about the fish!