Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday Farmgirls - Canning

I finally got around to doing some canning a couple weekends ago. I was going to post about it last Friday, but I came down with an upper respiratory cold. Avery got it as well, but he wasn't as bad as myself and seems to be over it already. I, on the other hand, am still feeling under the weather, but I do seem a bit improved.

Anyhow, while the hubby was off bagging his first deer of the season, I spent the day canning applesauce and salsa with my oldest granddaughter, Harmony. She turned five this summer and started kindergarten in the fall. Harmony has been sitting on the counter helping "Nana" cook since everyone else thought she was too little and that I was crazy for having her up there next to the stove.

Cooking has to be one of the best ways to spend time with my humble opinion. It's a universal language. You don't have to say much if you don't want to, but you can have fun together nonetheless. Each year I have the grands over to make chocolate bark. No matter their skill level or experience in the kitchen there is a task they can master or be in charge of, and it makes them feel so special. (Pictures of this year's gathering will be shared in December.)

I always enjoy a connection with the past when I am cooking. My most prized possession in my kitchen is my Great Grandma Sheldon's pepper grinder. So, borrowing my Grandma Sheldon's old sieve from my mom for the applesauce made the experience all the more special. Here I was sharing the old art of food preservation with my granddaughter while using my grandmother's old kitchen tool. Awesome!

Oh, I almost forgot! We also roasted tomatoes. Harmony is pretty proud when she gets to use a real, bona-fide, sharp knife, and "Nana" let her bask in the lime light that day. If you have never tried roasting tomatoes you just have to. It is SUPER simple, and they taste so amazing. We've plucked ours right off the pan and eaten them like candy, put them on sandwiches, and added them to spaghetti sauce and salsa. There are so many uses for them, and you can just throw them in the freezer. Here's the recipe if you'd like to give them a try:

A bunch of tomatoes, any variety
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper
a bunch of garlic cloves

Preheat oven to 325

Arrange cut tomatoes in a single layer, skins down, on a cookie sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. Mince garlic and sprinkle over tomatoes being careful to let most of it drop directly on the tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place in oven and cook for 2 1/2-3 hours, depending on the size of your tomatoes. It usually takes about 3 for romas that are halved. If you quarter them they'll get done a little faster. Keep an eye on them after about 2 -2 1/2 hours. Take a peek through the window. The juices will have dried up, and some of the tomatoes will start to get dark around the edges.

*Each time I roasted tomatoes I used Roma tomatoes cut in half.

I hope you enjoy making these tomatoes and getting creative with ways to incorporate them in your cooking. They freeze well and keep for a couple weeks in the refrigerator. Maybe you'll even find a little helper to share in the fun and make some of your own memories.


Christine said...

Tina, Popping in to say "hi" after I read your comment. Wow, those tomatoes sound awesome! I just picked everything off my plants, which were still producing (unheard of for a Chicago autumn!) I'm letting some turn green, and I'm going to can green tomato salsa tomorrow.

I can't wait for grandbabies and little ones in my kitchen! I agree with you (in theory, since I have no littles at home now, just four big, strapping young men) about kids in the kitchen; my two younger guys (17 and 14) help all the time. I'm praying for granddaughters, though, since my life is surrounded by males. :)

Blessings on your weekend!


Sharity said...

What fun! I have precious memories baking cookies or making the salad for Sunday dinner with my Oma and then making yummy candies at Christmas with her, too!

Blessings to you!

Illinois Lori said...

What a wonderful day spent with the little one...and yes, that is a GREAT way to spend time with children! It's a nice way to spend time with teenagers, too, I find! As long as they don't have an ultimate frisbee game waiting for them...

Your roasted tomatoes sound deelish, I'm going to have to try those! Thanks so much for sharing them with us this week!

Just fyi, I updated the link you'd posted in Mister Linky, for some reason it was linking us all to your October 1st post on "putting up food." Hopefully now everyone will find you again!

Blessings and {{{HUGS}}},

Annie Kate said...

How incredibly special, to be sharing your grandmothers things with your grandchildren! You are so blessed!

Have a great week.

Annie Kate

Katia said...

They look and sound amazingly delicious. I will have to try it next summer. My tomatoes right now are just for eating them plain, we can't get enough of it.
I agree having children int he kitchen, helps them develop natural cooking skills, which otherwise are hard to come by when kids grow older.

Tina said...

Christine - That's awesome that you are still getting tomatoes! There used to be a bunch of girls in our house. Now it's just boys. I have to say that I like it very much. :o)

Sharity - A lot of my fond memories center around the kitchen.

Lori - I know what you mean. My boys are almost 19 and 17, except Avery, of course. :o) They do help in the kitchen sometimes, and I enjoy it very much. The 17 year old has become quite a cook! (Thanks for updating the link!)

Annie Kate - Thanks! You too!

Katia - Oh, I hope you do. I'm sure you'll enjoy them very much.


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