This tackle was actually a couple of weeks ago, but I actually have time to post today, so...here ya go!
I've found yet another reason to love living in Mexico: canning tomatoes in April. I've been a "canner" for ages. Growing up in the midwest, I used to watch my mom preserving jams and jellies and tomatoes and pickles. I just naturally inherited the desire to preserve foods for my family. Honestly, I love to process fruits, veggies and even fish, because at the end of the day, I can look at what I've done and see PROGRESS! So much of a mom's life is dishes and laundry and other jobs which have no end. Canning, on the other hand, has a beginning and an end and best of all -- a reward!
So, we come back to why I enjoy canning tomatoes in April. Well, tomatoes are a hot weather crop. In Oregon, they really start to ripen in the warm summer months of July and August. Tomatoes are at their best and cheapest for the hottest weeks of the year. Water-bath canning requires holding gallons and gallons of water at boiling for hours (since I usually put up over 100 quarts of tomatoes) plus the tomato sauce has to boil for hours before it's ready to process. I've done it for years, but MAN is it hot in the house during canning season! In Oregon, I actually had an old, ugly stove on the front porch specifically for canning. It helped, but it was still hot.
Now we're in Sinaloa, Mexico. Tomatoes are in season all year long! In the morning, it's still cool enough to want a sweatshirt and long pants. Running the stove and boiling water for hours actually felt good! Ah, no more processing gallon after gallon of sauce in 100 degree heat! I can stock up in the spring and beat the heat!
Just one more benefit of missionary life! Thanks, God!
At my feet you can see two of the wooden crates of 'maters I was processing. Each crate is about 50 pounds.
I really love my stove. I've never had one large enough to have a canner, stew pot AND small saucepan boiling all at the same time.
Can we say "oxidation"? Love that humidity!
NOT an extremely flattering photo. Anyway, we ended up with about 50 quarts of sauce. It was great to be able to share with our pastor and the school of ministry, too...and we had to have a pizza party since we had all that pizza sauce ready!!!