Sunday, September 15, 2013

Winter Is Coming! Can Tomatoes To Keep You Warm -- Even The Ones On Sale At Larriland

Canned tomato sauce with Larriland tomatoes
If you have ever thought about canning, think about picking tomatoes and firing up some pots in the next several weeks.

Winter is coming.  Supermarket tomatoes will become hard, flavorless and have glowing blue eyes.

You can can up some tomatoes -- along with pickles and other vegetables.  I encouraged canning before -- and canning cookbooks.  It's a fun project, and the canned tomatoes are a treat as they pour summer into a mid-winter pasta sauce or pizza.

Today, Larriland Farm in Woodbine even has a sale on tomatoes.  I've never heard of this before.  The full-price tomatoes are spectacular and reason enough to pick at Larriland, then go home to can.  That's what I did with early season plum tomatoes over the summer.  But Larriland has announced a sale on one of its tomato fields.  (You can also get chard, blackberries, apples and more.)

If you can't go today, Larriland says tomato season runs into early October.  Pick another day.  This is a spectacular season to visit as apples and vegetables run into the pumpkins, hay rides and Halloween activities next month.  For more information about Howard County farms, my favorite source is AnnieRie's blog where she writes about harvests and products beings sold.  Check out her posts about farms, including local chickens for sale at England Acres.

Seriously, tomato sauce is a terrific first project.  You can find all kinds of recipes on the Web or in cookbooks.  Basically, you cook down tomatoes with onions and herbs or spices.  Then, you boil sealed jars to sterilize the sauce and seal up the Mason jars.  I really suggest it.  

I also suggest the amusement of early-morning tomato picking.  In mid-afternoon, Larriland fields are full of kids and people chatting.  But we hit up the tomato fields when they opened on a Saturday morning.  Serious pickers.  All adults.  Some who looked like they were going to re-sell at a market.  And everyone seriously pulling red tomatoes off the vines.  We were giggling about how everyone seemed so serious, and we picked probably twice what we needed.  It was peer pressure.  

For basic canning supplies, check out my 2011 post or look in Kendall Hardware in Clarksville or your local grocery store.

1 comment:

Marcia said...

If you don't have the equipment to can tomatoes or tomato sauce, it is easy to freeze. Tomatoes do get a bit watery with freezing, but that's ok, just heat them for a little while to evaporate off the water. They still taste of summer, unlike the stuff you buy at the grocery store!

I have frozen tomato quarters (blanch & peel first), tomato sauce & pizza sauce. If you don't have containers, plastic freezer bags work great.