I finally started canning in earnest today. I have put it off for as long as I can but now that frost is looming, I decided I'd better get moving before the tomatoes are finished. So I took a box of tomatoes and made about 8 pints of ketchup along with a couple of quarts of fresh salsa. The salsa included one Ghost Pepper, one Fatali (a habenero) and one cayenne. It is spicy. I read my friend Angela's blog posting and followed her advice and wore gloves when cleaning the peppers - that was lucky! The minute I cut into each of the first 2 peppers, I started to sweat. This was just from the scent - and no I wasn't cooking them. Unbelievable! I also made about 10 pints of hotdog relish (equal parts cabbage, green tomatoes, onions and some peppers, along with sugar and some spices) which we really enjoy on an egg sandwich or as an ingredient to make either tartar sauce or french dressing. The children also like to eat the relish as a side dish, which doesn't happen very often. It might not sound like a lot but it sure does take time. I think if everyone made their own ketchup, a lot less would be consumed.
I plan to can about 50 quarts of tomatoes in the next week - we'll see what the garden produces.
I've been lazy about beans, greens and broccoli this year. Last year I froze about 50 bags of beans. In the back of my mind I keep thinking that we can always eat kale from the hoop over the winter. Hopefully that will be the case because the beans are not producing like they did when it was 80 degrees out so I kind of missed the time of plenty.
CSA members - get ready for mustard greens again along with turnips and leeks.
If you haven't bought tomatoes and are still looking for some, please let me know. I think I've given all members the tomatoes you've requested so I'm going to open up sales to the general public now (after our family is set).