Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sunday at our house

As I think I mentioned in a previous post, we have joyfully joined Angelic Organics CSA this year (community supported agriculture), and have thus enjoyed a bounty of freshness each week.  The past few weeks have supplied us with a surplus of tomatoes, and Nick decided they needed to be canned.  Summer sweet tomatoes in December is surely a great idea.  We left our official canning supplies (wire rack and huge multi-sized pots) in Iowa, to be gathered up at the end of October, so with the help of borrowing Mary Sue's giant pots, Nick had to fashion aluminum foil separators to go in the water bath with the jars.  A layperson might not know this, but when boiling the cans in the water bath, they are not allowed to touch each other, or the bottom of the pot.  Ingeniously, we used our vegetable steamer to keep them off the bottom, and Nicks aluminum foil contraption to prevent them from touching.  It worked famously (...for the most part, aside from a quickly remedied floating aluminum foil issue).

Double handed precision, deep into the canning sterilization is in process here. 

The steps that are omitted are the minute blanching of the tomatoes, the ice bath, the removal of the skins, and the cooking the crushed tomatoes for 35 minutes.

You can see the remnant of one of the aluminum foil rings at the top left.  Also, the aromatic cooked and crushed tomato loveliness.  

And here is the finished product!  All that effort better be worth it in December!  

The pastime that was enjoyed while we were in the canning mode was the Chicago Bears game on the radio, accompanied by the necessary football snack.   I am on sports overload, it's not really of any interest to me, and it seems like there is so much going on right now.  We don't have a tv, so it's a lot of radio sports, which makes it even more enjoyable (note sarcasm) because I have no idea who the players are or what the plays mean.  Anyhow, Nick loves it all (and so far this weekend has taken in parts of college football, NFL and baseball) mostly via internet or radio.

It must be September when Nick brings out the candy corn and roasted peanuts.  The combination is admittedly, delicious and addicting and I was only able to snap a picture of the remnants here.

 Also today, I finally finished up the blocks we painted at the shower I gave for Kristina and Paul a few weeks ago.  Don't they look great!  I am pretty proud of how they turned out.

The little guy is due to arrive any time now, and I am sure he'll be ready for spelling lessons right away.

And for the rest of the day, I am making tomato sauce with the left over imperfect tomatoes (the ones that had soft spots or bits of moldiness), and right now the plan is some kind of eggplant/tomato/noodle bake for dinner.  The eggplant is from the farm! yum.

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