Down to the garden I go to collect LOTS of tomatoes. Did I mention that it's down 27 stairs? And the chicken coop, did I also mention that it's down 27 stairs?
Oh, and speaking of chickens... today when I went to go feed my precious hens, one was missing. Yup, gone. Trying not to panic, and trying to assess the situation, hmmm... no sign of blood and guts, so no coyote or raccoon had gotten her. Everything was locked up tight. I looked inside the coop, outside in the run. She was gone! Wha? As I scratched my head, I decided to start poking around in the coop. I started to move the food can, that's when I saw her. She was all squashed up in the corner. My heart sunk.
Wait a minute, she was nesting! Did you know that chickens don't
Soooo, back to the tomatoes and making life hotter than it's supposed to be.
I decided to make stewed tomatoes. A dumb idea in this blazing heat? I am not going to answer that.
First, cut an x in the bottom of tomato and dip into a nearly boiling bath for a few minutes, until skins start to separate. Remove from heat and place into an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
No, wait. First, first - sterilize jars and lids. You can run them through your dishwasher, or boil them in hot water, or if you're like me, I quickly boiled water in my microwave and put the lids in the boiling water, then microwaved the jars.
Then peel them all. It's kind of a pain, but not nearly as much as deseeding all of these buggars. That was a real pain.
I added about 2 pints of water and added all of the peeled, quartered and deseeded tomatoes, adding some basil, also from the garden after about 10 minutes. There were probably about 3 lbs of tomatoes altogether, and I brought them to a slow boil, about 30 minutes. I'm very accurate when I cook, as you can tell.
Pouring into the jars. Sorry it's blurry, but 1. I stink at photography, and 2. it's really hard to take pictures while pouring hot stuff into jars. You'll see when you try this!
Into the boiling water for the final step. I read somewhere that this only takes 20 minutes because they've already been cooking. So, 20 minutes it was.
Voila! (Sorry, still blurry!) Ready for a cold winters day. I'll probably have to do this again soon, my tomato crop is still going strong. Never having done this before, next time I think I'll keep the stewing going a little longer, maybe about 45 minutes.
Why do I feel like Old McDonald? E I E I OH.