Preserving Our Sanity

If Paul and I don’t see another tomato until next summer, it won’t be too soon.


This weekend was spent processing 60 pounds of tomatoes into 5 1/2 quarts of spaghetti sauce, 4 pints of pizza sauce, and 5 pints of salsa. The bulk of the work was done by my wonderful husband, who stayed up until 5am Sunday morning peeling, seeding, and squeezing the juice out of the tomatoes.

And we also made a batch of peach-raspberry jam and also some strawberry-blueberry jam (just used what we had – about 1 1/2 quarts of strawberries, 1 pint of blueberries, and sweetened to taste and added pectin) as well. Whew!

Thankfully, the harvest season is nearing its end (from a canning perspective, at least) – all that we have left this year to can is some apples in about a month or so.

Not to say that he and I both haven’t put in hour after hour slaving in the kitchen, over a hot stove, during the hottest part of the year. It’s been hard work, really hard work – and I have a greater respect for our ancestors who used to do this as a matter of course rather than as a hobby. And sometimes I wonder if it is all worth it.

But come January, when there’s nothing growing, and even the winter squash is a bit long in the tooth – cracking open that jar of strawberry jam or jar of spaghetti sauce will transport me right back to August, and the scent of it will both remind me of the perfection of summer and also give me something to look forward to in the months ahead. I keep reminding my husband of this when we’re up to our elbows in tomato juices, but hopefully come winter, it will truly sink in and help motivate him to do it all over again next year (no more tomatoes, honey – I promise!).

8 thoughts on “Preserving Our Sanity

  1. Baklava Queen

    Congratulations on getting so much done! You’ll definitely be glad you did it come winter, especially on those really cold days when you don’t want to head out to the grocery store and realize, hey! I can grab a jar from the pantry! 🙂

    I’ll warn you, though… once you get through a winter enjoying the fruits of your summer labor, you may be hooked. And you might just end up canning tomatoes again next year. Not that I’m saying that’s a bad thing…..

  2. bakinghistory

    beautiful post. I love the picture. True, the beauty of canning is that in the middle of Winter we are not only reminded of Summer but also that our efforts bring reward…

  3. Anne

    Wow, what an accomplishment! Way to go! I have been freezing rather than canning (I think I will put off canning and dehydrating until next year), and yes it is a ton of work – but think of all the free time we’ll have in the winter! No farmer’s markets to run to (*sniff*), piles of put-up produce just waiting to be eaten…

  4. holly may

    clever title to the post 😉 i am in a situation of surplus tomatoes here at home myself. i was wondering what your spaghetti sauce recipe is and also, how well does the salsa keep?

  5. Alan

    we did a bunch of tomatoes a couple of years ago (photo at my newish bread blog); two dozen more jars a couple of weeks ago, also in central Ohio. We’re away on vacation now, and can only imagine what the vines will look like when we return!

  6. Sarah

    ith so much experience on this site I thought someone coudl help! We boiled up our tomato chutney to preserve on Tuesday night and realised many of our jars were broken! We now have 15lbs of chutney sitting in our fridge – any suggestions what to do? Is it possible to boil it down again maybe adding some more vinegar and then can? Advice desperately sort.

    Thanks all suggestions and help most appreciated.

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