We ended up -- not counting the near dozen eaten fresh in dinner or simple sliced for a side dish -- with a great addition of 42 quarts of diced. We did about 4 (well, 3 and a half...) as juice.
Traditionally, I'd say juice and whole were the way to go here. We use TONS of tomatoes over the year -- sauces for pasta, pizza, chili and bean soups, various chopped for stews and soups, pizza toppers, chili...the list just goes on an on.
But, this year we have a new tradition. DICED. Not necessarily small diced, but chopped just the same. We sliced and diced tomatoes and packed them fresh into the jars -- these were specific canning type tomatoes, the skins are wonderful and don't get that 'stringy' curl to them. Honestly, I couldn't see any feasible way to truly skin them anyway. Besides, that's your vitamins :o)
After packing fresh, we drizzled a bit of lemon juice (maybe half teaspoon?) in each quart and set them in a sink of hot water. We filled each jar with boiling water, slapped a lid on and sent them to the water bath for 45 mins (pints would be 35 mins).
They look so pretty and pinkish-red :o). So fresh!
And the figs! Yum! We had a couple gallons and did up 6 pints and 3 quarts into straight fig preserves. I had one box (well, 1 that was easily found at 10 pm anyway) of powdered pectin, so we used the bulk pectin I had with it. The smelled delicious and look wonderful.
Alas, I couldn't put my hands on Mrs Trixi's Strawberry Fig Preserve recipe, but I found several yummy-sounding ones online we'll try in other batches. Strawberry Jell-O added gives a truly delicious mock fresh strawberry jam...and the same is true for adding red raspberry Jell-O or even blackberry Jell-O! As we have no serious supply of strawberries here (I don't grow them, as we'd need near half an acre to keep this crew happy in just jam!).
The figs will harvest through October, weather permitting, so we will have plenty for the pantry from the neighbor. Barring anymore heavy long-term storms again! They fall off the tree and are far too underripe or smashed with the hard rains.
Well...we have TONS to get accomplished this month. Yard cleaning
buck fencing in his pasture
Gate building in the barn for the does
Kidding nursery pens designed for later autumn building
Sewing sewing sewing...2 dresses per girl, nightgowns and pajama pants, 2 church shirts for the boys, headcoverings, etc.
That project I'm working on...shhhhh...
More tomato canning
More fig canning
General everyday regular stuff still needs tending as usual and schooling. We are behind with Nim's Island. Haw sad is that? Chapters 7-8 just came out for last Wednesday and we just got printer ink and managed to get the computer motivated to do some work. I can't believe I set everything up and just by-passed supplying ink :o(
So -- busy isn't the word...buried in tasks is more like it! And computer time just won't meet the goals of completion this month. I'm sure I can squirrel in a break here and there just for some relief time though!