Happy Happy, Joy Joy!

It's a better way to start a blog post than yesterday's weary title, don't you think? The day got off on the right foot when I got an early start on my salsa.

It looks so pretty when I start to cook it down. I ended up with a yield of five pints for today's efforts, plus a little bonus that went straight into the refrigerator.

Five pints will take us most of the way through the year, but I'd like to make a little more for sharing. If you're interested, I posted the recipe I use a couple of years ago, and you can see how I do it right here. I was having trouble remembering if I used the ribs and seeds from the jalapenos. The answer is, I did not. It still has a nice little kick.

This being Wednesday, I'm linking this post to:

While that was cooking down this morning I went out and picked enough tomatoes for a batch of pasta sauce. These aren't quite ripe, but I don't want to can them until next week anyway.

After reading this article from our local newspaper a couple of days ago, I've started picking them on the green side. Our weather has been quite warm the past several days, although it seems to have cooled off some. Nevertheless, my tomatoes are grown in a greenhouse, and it's been plenty hot in there. The article served to confirm my suspicions about some of the tomatoes closest to the wall of the greenhouse. It actually gets warm enough near the wall to give the tomatoes sunscald. But the part of the article that interested me most was this:

Slow-ripening fruit – Temperatures above 85 degrees can slow the ripening of tomatoes, which ripen quickest at 70 degrees to 75 degrees. Wait for cooler weather to allow for vine-ripening to occur. Fruit just showing color changes can be picked and stored at room temperature to ripen.

I've complained many times about our short growing season here. The only way I've found to get tomatoes to ripen at all is to grow them in the greenhouse. This temperature issue was completely new to me. Indeed, I've started picking any that are reasonably beyond the completely-green stage, and they do ripen in the house quite nicely.

You might note that the first of the Super San Marzanoes are coming on as well. Those are the elongated ones. They are bred for their few seeds and lots of meat, which makes them an excellent sauce tomato. I'm not picky about my tomatoes, since I'm always happy with whatever I get. But I do like this particular variety for sauce since I'm peeling and seeding them. Usually, I just leave everything in the salsa, but for the pasta sauce, I want the meaty part of the tomato.

While I was out watering this morning, I checked on the plums too. They're getting close.

It's beginning to look as though I'll get all of my canning done before we leave on our trip on August 31st. In years gone by, we've done our traveling in the spring, which saves on this end-of-August gnashing of teeth waiting for things to ripen. (And I'll just say that at my age, my teeth can't take it.) We might have to switch back to late spring traveling in the future.

As for the rest of the day, I have a little housework to do, but I'm going to continue on with Joseph's Quilt. I have three sides of the outer border left, and I'm hoping to get it finished today or tomorrow.

What's on your agenda for the day?

7 comments from clever and witty friends:

Sher S. said...

I'm so impressed with your salsa and sauce, your tomatoes look heavenly. I have made tomato sauce and love how it tastes, but had to buy fresh tomatoes at the farmers market because I can't grow them very well....the worms find them first...yuck!!!!
I'm hoping to do some canning once we move but time will tell on that one. LOL!
Have a great afternoon.

quiltzyx said...

Yay! Love it when there's a bonus!!
While waiting for the traffic report, I heard Melinda Lee's food news (www.melindalee.com) on the radio yesterday & she was talking about tomatoes. She said that the seeds have most of the flavor, so especially when you're slicing them for sandwiches, you should leave the seeds in. Who knew?
The plums seem to be coming along nicely too.
My plans for the day - I'm working today (hooray!)

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Everything looks so yummy and I can smell the tomatoes thru the net! I no longer can and have limited freezer space, but for what little of these things I eat, I can be happy with bought. We've had torrential rains (some places had 13"!!) - we are high, but my SIL stayed home today to make sure their sump pump was keeping up. So I thought it a good day to FINALLY get my Something Old project quilted.

Tami C said...

I'm sure glad that your day went better than yesterday. Glad you have enough tomatoes for your sauce!

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

We have had to pick our tomatoes slightly green so the critters don't ravage the garden taking only a bite out of several before moving on.

Kate said...

You got lots done. I had never heard that about the best way to ripen tomatoes, very interesting.

Michelle F said...

We had a productive day today.
First there were haircuts to be done then grocery shopping.
We also bought a new printer and I made a zucchini stir-fry for supper.