Labor Day Labors

It took two days, but I worked my way through all of the 60 lbs. of tomatoes I had on hand. Yesterday's yield was 5 quarts of pasta sauce and 5 pints of tomato salsa.

From 60 lbs. of tomatoes, my yield was a total of 14 quarts of pasta sauce and 8 pints of salsa. The goal was 20 quarts and 12 pints, and so I'm still working on scoring more tomatoes. In the meantime, I'm hoping to work with the plums tomorrow. Time will tell. I haven't looked at the tree for a couple of days.

A few of you have asked to see my pantry shelves. Here's how they stand right now. On one shelf, jams, jellies, pickles and relishes...

To the right, pasta sauce, salsa, fruit butter, fruits, pie fillings, barbecue sauces, and chutneys.

My canning was finished by around 2:30, and so I had time left in the day to finish off my quilt for the Teal Mini Quilt Swap. I can't show it to you until my partner Lana has it in her hands, but here's a tease of the finish.

Just for grins...here's the back.

It'll go into today's mail, and so I'm hopeful Lana will have it by Friday.

While I was canning tomatoes this weekend, Mike was working getting our old RV ready for its new owner. It's been sold, and they'll be picking it up next weekend (I think). The new owner is still getting his truck ready for towing, which means adding a bed liner and a hitch and some other stuff...don't ask me. And all of that to say that we both worked our tails off this Labor Day weekend. What else could we do but drink margaritas and crack open a jar of salsa? This is the tomato salsa. (You can find the recipe right here.) I left some of the ribs and seeds from the jalapenos this year for a nice little kick.

Maybe you'd prefer the tomatillo apple salsa made from apples off Erik and Mae's trees. (The recipe for that is right here.)

Or maybe you're like the Resident Engineer, and you like them both together. (It's actually pretty good that way!)

So, I promised you the recipe for the pasta sauce. Here's the recipe I'm using.

Chunky Basil Pasta Sauce
adapted from Complete Book of Small-Batch Canning

16 cups roasted, skinned, and coarsely chopped tomatoes (about 16 lbs. raw)
2  cups chopped onion
6 cloves garlic -- minced
1 1/3 cups red wine
2/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (may substitute 1 tablespoon dried)
2 teaspoons pickling salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 can tomato paste (12 oz.)

Preheat an oven to 425° (convection roasting works well for this). Halve tomatoes and place cut side down on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Roast in preheated oven 15 minutes or until skins are shriveled and spotty brown. Remove from oven and pluck skins from tomatoes using tongs. When cool enough to handle, seed and coarsely chop to accumulate 16 cups.

Combine all ingredients in a very large stainless steel or enamel saucepan.  Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 40 minutes or until mixture reaches desired consistency, stirring frequently.

Ladle sauce into hot jars to within 1/2 inch of rim (head space).  Process 35 minutes for pint jars and 40 minutes for quart jars.

Yield: about 4 quarts
Recipe may be halved.
A very nice flavorful marinara sauce, good for any kind of pasta.

This morning I have just a little bit of time for slow-stitching, and then I have a day of many stops. The Northwest Quilting Expo is at the end of the month, and I need to drop off my quilts for that show. Then I'm picking up my quilts from the Oregon State Fair which ended yesterday. Also, our piggy birds have eaten up all their birdseed, and so I need to replenish their supply of groceries. Finally, I need to make a stop at the bank to collect the title for the old RV. Did I mention how nice it will be to finally have it outta here? Oh yes, and I can't forget a stop off at the post office to mail Lana's mug rug. 

Finally, the Quilters Meet & Greet starts today. 

Head on over to Benita Skinner's Creative Space to meet some of your fellow blogging quilters! Don't forget to enter the drawing for the great grand prize.

7 comments from clever and witty friends:

Denise :) said...

I'm really envious (in a non-threatening, happy-for-you kind of way) of all your JARS!! It's so beautiful!! Like -- I know this sounds goofy -- but looking at the pictures of your pantry and all the wonderful canned goodness, brings tears to my eyes! LOL! Love the teal tease ... can't wait to see the entire thing! :)

Sarah said...

I bow to your canning skills! Thanks for the peach recipes yesterday - I'm still waiting for peach delivery but I have most of the rest of the ingredients. Friday can't get here fast enough - mugrug tease shots are killing me...

Sandra W said...

Oh my. I just love looking at all of that canning. I may make it to my Toronto apartment for a few days and may try to at least make my famous chutney, and maybe your pickled carrots spears.
The margharitas and salsa/corn chips look delicious.
I want to come and live at your house.

Kate said...

You have a very colorful pantry, those jars all look so clean and shiny. Hope you got all your errands run yesterday and have a chance to kick back and stitch once those plums are tamed.

SJSM said...

Your pantry looks wonderful! Nothing like the taste of summer on a winter day. FYI, I use Paprika app to save recipes. I was surprised the auto download feature worked for your website recipes. When I used the download feature the recipe downloaded perfectly including the picture of the jar of pasta sauce! I thought I would get some other random picture of the salsa or something.

It is good to move out the old. It’s like cleaning out your closet of items to donate. You feel you are more organized, have more room and can more easily keep your space clean. Plus you have done good. Moving the old trailer is doing that on a larger scale. The good is making someone else happy and a few coins in your pocket.

piecefulwendy said...

I have to say, Barbara, that I have canning envy. Those jars on those shelves look positively glorious. How delightful it must be to walk in there and see them all sitting pretty! Well done! The salsa looks tasty too. That binding on your teal mini is very cool and I love the backing fabric! Can't wait to see the whole mug rug.

gpc said...

There is no way I have time to can this year, but I made a scaled down version of the pasta sauce -- two trays of tomatoes roasted, so just enough for a dinner and a lunch. We loved it, it's the first fresh sauce I've been happy with. I put in a food processor to make it smooth since we bring our own chunkiness to the table and don't need it in the sauce. Delicious. Next year I hope I'll have time to make enough to enjoy all winter long.