a lot of work for three pints

Sometimes I feel like I have a love-hate relationship with canning. I love having done it, but the actual doing is sometimes challenging—and specifically, the initial effort to get started. Luckily I have Leah in my life, because if she knows something needs to get done she will make it happen. Even if it's something dumb like putting up the first big harvest of paste tomatoes.

I have four Roma plants in this year, and they're doing great; it's a good year for tomatoes. And I like to pretend I need to preserve food to get us through the winter. With the tomatoes the pretense is especially thin, because taste-wise they're certainly no better than what you get in a can (though I suppose the fact that they're organic and BPA-free and all is worth something...). But as I say, I like the idea so after we finished a batch of bread-and-butter pickles Leah and I peeled, cored, and diced our three-four quarts of tomatoes, which all packed down to three little pints to go into the water bath canner. Oh well, they're pretty pints!

I often imagine what it would be like if we had the time and space to really grow all we needed to eat, at least in the area of tomato products. Maybe when the kids are a little older I'll do enough to get into a rhythm, like back in the day when there was three days of just canning tomatoes and then it was done (though I don't know how they managed to get them all to ripen at the same time). As it is now we're a little more low-key about the whole thing. After slicing and salting the cucumbers, we took a couple hours off from the process to visit the pond. Because it's still summer, and while late summer is all about tomatoes, it's also all about getting in as many beach trips as you can while it lasts!