23 08 2014



Today I canned tomatoes.   It’s a long tradition in my family.


 On steamy, hot summer days in Maryland, the small gas stove in my Grandmothers basement  was lit.  The women in the family were busy cutting and peeling tomatoes right from the garden.  As a child it seemed like a day long project they were only finished when all the tomatoes were done and the jars were on the shelves in the basement.  These women, my Grandmother and her daughters knew how important it was to have food on the shelves.  They had gone through the depression.  My Grandmother fed many Hobo’s tomato sandwiches, they were appreciative and it might have been the only meal they would have had that day.

My Mother continued the practice and I can vividly see the stocked shelves in our basement..  Jars and jars of blueberries picked from the farm, peaches from our own tree, tomatoes, beans and corn from our garden, and pickles of all kinds.  She always made Mustard Pickle with a recipe that was handed down from my Dad’s Mom.  I wish I could find the recipe.

Today I am also cooking diced tomatoes in the crock pot.  Herbs,garlic and peppers from the garden are added to the tomatoes and some diced onions from the farmers market top it off.  These will be put in packets and frozen for sauces for this  coming winter.



I am hoping to dry some peaches and more herbs.  Plan to freeze the string beans and some corn and make pickled beets.




Angus went to  the vets yesterday.  He had been having all sorts of problems.  He will celebrate his `17th birthday next week along with his brother Shorty.  His blood work and tests came back in the okay range so fluids were given and he has to take an appetite enhancer.  He hates pills and will hold them in the side of his mouth for as long as 10 minutes and then you  see him spit it out!  Dr. Funk showed me how to do it.  He has to go back today for more fluids.  He was so happy to be home.  He likes living upstairs now.

Its been raining here for a couple of days now so I did not do the farmers market yesterday.  It’s a gentle rain so that is good.  The cukes are starting to ripen and there may be enough for making bread and butter pickles later this month.  Chris will be leaving on Sunday and Ricky will be here for a few days.  He will be helping me to inventory all the family items in the house.  We will take a picture of the item and then he will write a narrative.  So many things have been handed down to me I want my family to know where these things came from.


Here is the latest photo of the boys.  They are grand roosters.  They have marvelous crows and are very friendly.  When it gets cooler they will be living with the sheep upstairs for the winter.


Hope you have a wonderful day and many thanks for reading my blog.  Carole





7 responses

23 08 2014
Dora Friedli

Hi Carole,
I noticed in the picture of your canned tomatoes, that the jars were upside down. Do you do inversion canning? I do that with jams and jellies, but have not tried it with anything else. Do you add lemon juice or citric acid to the tomatoes when you can them? I enjoy reading your blog and look forward to new posts. Dora

23 08 2014

Hello Dora,
Thank you for your kind comments, I am so glad you enjoy my blog I do enjoy writing it. They were upside down because they were hot, what is inversion canning I am very interested. I put 2 tablespoons of lemon juice in a quart. I do enjoy canning but it is time consuming and freezing is certainly easier.

23 08 2014
Dora Friedli

Hi Carole,
Thanks for the quick reply. Inversion canning is a variation of open kettle preserving. Jam or jelly is cooked to the setting stage and poured into sterilized jars. The lids and rings are put on immediately and the rings are tightened. The jars are turned upside down for a few minutes and then turned right side up. I usually leave them for about 10 minutes. They are usually sealed by then, if not they will seal in a few more minutes. You can hear them ping! I only do this with high acid fruits and I always use half fruit and half sugar in my jam and jelly. I have never had any spoilage and I’ve been doing this for years. I don’t believe this method is recommended any more, but it works for me and is easier than water bathing! I agree that freezing is easier and a lot less time consuming. That’s what I do with everything other than jam and jelly. I would be curious to know if any of your other readers, have used inversion canning.


24 08 2014

I have used this method before many times but didn’t know what it was called. My Grandmother used this method with tomatoes, cooking the tomatoes to a high temp first. I have always loved making Jams haven’t made any for a few years. I was making Strawberry, Blueberry and Raspberry jams and Grape jelly. I hope to get back to it next year.
What kid do you make?

24 08 2014
Dora Friedli

I make grape jelly, plum and mulberry jam. I would love to make blueberry jam, but I haven’t had any luck with growing blueberries. I’m in southern California and the soil is too alkaline here. I understand that there are some newer varieties that grow in alkaline soil. Maybe I’ll try again. Did your grandmother ever have spoilage with her inversion canned tomatoes? I would love to be able to can tomatoes that way, but I would want to be sure that it is safe. Right now, I freeze tomatoes. I wrote a reply earlier, but accidently hit the “back” button and it disappeared. So if you get 2 replies that’s why! Dora

26 08 2014

Plum Jam sound wonderful. Yes I have also read about the new varieties of blueberries. I don’t remember her talking about any spoilage. SHe did can lots of tomatoes each year. I know they don’t recommend the inversion method today and I can understand that but it worked in those days. I would rather freeze them but with the way the world is today with power outages and the like I sometimes think canning is the best way. It is so time and energy consuming. I do have a rocket stove which I will try next year when I can tomatoes. It only requires small sticks to get water to a boil. If I had a generator I wouldn’t think about it. We don’t have many power outages here but in surrounding areas they have many in the winter or if there is a hurricane. I had a Mulberry tree once. How does the jam taste? Good to hear from you Dora. Carole

26 08 2014
Dora Friedli

In a year with enough rain, the mulberry jam, or jelly tastes something like boysenberry jam. This year the few berries that were on the trees, were almost flavorless. Hoping for more rain next year! I don’t have a generator either. So far the freezer has stayed cold during power outages. I agree with you about the world conditions. We never know whats going to happen next! Earthquakes are something I have to take into consideration, when using jars. So far, they’ve not been too serious in my area, but even small ones can knock over jars if not stored carefully. We’re having warm, but beautiful weather today. Hope you are too! Dora

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