Happy moments to live for

Awesomely lovely jars of tomatoes and granny's jar grabber

My latest batch of tomatoes and my fav jar lifter under the guard of a chicken.

When life hands you lemons they say to make lemonade. When you have 7 buckets of tomatoes you need lots of ‘ade’. The crop is finally coming in after this unusually hot summer and my tomatoes look divine. I really mulched well around all of them and this year I didn’t’ have any leaf mold issues, the weed battle was won by me this year and now I am reaping the rewards.
So far we’ve enjoyed BLT’s, bruschetta, salsa, tomato and ham sandwiches, raw tomatoes in every form and even the little yellow pear shaped tomatoes I tucked into the flower bed are ready to be enjoyed.
This year I made spaghetti sauce for the first time. I added garlic, onions, poblano peppers, green peppers, tomato paste, basil and other spices. I did it in the crock pot so the aroma wafted through the whole house for a few days. The plus side is, it uses a LOT of tomatoes up. The extra juice will be used in soup stock or possibly Bloody Marys!
Each year when I start the canning season I pull out the supplies, canner, jars, lids etc.; but my most treasured part is the jar lifter that was my grandmothers. Its old wooden handle has extracted thousands of canning jars from hot water baths. I was lucky enough to go with my mother when they were clearing out her kitchen and no one else wanted the lifter so it came home with me.
My Grandma O’Connell always had a huge garden and I can still see her pulling her little red wagon full of produce to the house, waiting to be preserved or used immediately. So each time I get to use the can lifter, I feel her presence and hope she guides me through a successful season.
I took this photo of my latest batch of lovely canned tomatoes; look at how awesomely red they are and the specs of poblano really make the jars look tasty. That is the can lifter in front and a funky wooden chicken guarding the jars! I can’t wait until the snow flies and we have a nice pot of chili bubbling away, made with the hubby’s venison and my canned tomatoes, sending a spicy aroma through our little log house. Life is gonna be good.

2 thoughts on “Happy moments to live for

  1. That tomato sauce looks fantastic! What a wonderful picture; the chicken, jar lifter, half dozen jars of sauce look like something right out of Martha Stewart.

    I’m sure the heirloom jar-lifter makes the canning process so much easier. Lifting those heavy, hot jars out of the steaming water bath can be problematic….so having the right tool for the job is great.

    Love the part about channeling Grandma as well. That’s sweet.

    I’m thinking of making some Alaskan jam/jelly this year. I found a recipe that calls for various red fruits (raspberry, currants, rosehips) and then adding some hunks of blueberries and jalapeno pepper, a bit of bourbon, plus sugar. The name of the bright red jam is “Alaska Barfight Jam.” I think that is pretty clever, funny, and sad in a way:(

    Good luck with all your tomatoes!

    • Barfight jam……classic matsu valley table food!
      thanks for the inspiration, I hope I can continue to blog somewhere after my departure on Nov. 2.

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