Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Shadows in my Kitchen

Well, I now have 21 quarts of tomatoes, 21 quarts of peaches and 19 pints of applesauce and innumerable pints of salsa and a whole bunch of jam and jelly and many bags full of dried fruit (read plums) and 36 bags of frozen fruit. I love the way my cold storage room is looking! And I have about 50 lbs of green tomatoes left to go and an apple orchard that I have hardly put a dent in... I actually had to buy more pint size jars last night.

Kaetlyn has spent a lot of time in the kitchen with me canning tomatoes, making salsa and freezing plums. I don't think she knows how much it means to me that she is there with me. There are shadows in my kitchen when she is there with me. Just as clear in my mind as this kitchen is the kitchen in Terrace where I learned to can beside my mother and my grandmother. I remember when they taught me how to blanche tomatoes and peaches to get the skins off.

Is it any wonder I see the Okanagan as some kind of mecca? Every year at the end of August, beginning of September, my dad would drive to the Okanagan and come how with loads of fruit. I can remember our garage full to over flowing with cases of peaches and tomatoes and cucumbers. I would eat and eat peaches. Like an addict. And my mom would can and can and can. A years supply of fruit and vegetables. My paltry 21 quarts is nothing to what she used to do - she measured hers in the 100's... And we worked together, my grandmother, my mother and I. The pressure canner going constantly all day with one load or another. I can remember we used the deep fryer full of water to blanche the vegetables (I use my pasta pot).

And I love the sense of continuity as Kaetlyn and I work together and I teach her how to blanche peaches and tomatoes and how we taste and season the salsa together. I can blissfully caught in the line of women I am decended from with my daughter in line after me....

8 comments:

Chick said...

Oh Bean! Its beautiful! Thank you so much! Its my favourite one you've done for me!

Kaetlyn said...

I love working in the kitchen with you, mom. I'm glad to help, and spend time with you. <3

Dragonflydownunder said...

You have been a busy little squirrel!!

sarah said...

Nice skin!!! Im jealous of all your canning. I love homemade-canned stuff!

beetlemack said...

i'm so glad you like it :D :D

Karey said...

Andrea, since you are clearly the expert I'm hoping you can help me. We have a bag full of tomatoes and we want to freeze them but we don't know if we just cut them up and freeze them or if there is something else we can to them. We want to be able to use them for sauces after. Any ideas????

Chick said...

I get most of my info from the internet. Here is a good link for freezing tomatoes http://www.des.emory.edu/mfp/james.html

I would say that if you want to use them for sauces, you want the skins off. So blanche them first (that means dipping them in boiling water for 2 minutes and then immersing them in cold water). Then cut out the core and the skin should just slip right off. Dice them and then bag or put them in freezer containers. If you bag them, you want to get all the air out. We used to use a straw to suck all the air out... and then close it really quickly...

Karey said...

awesome thanks :)