Tag Archives: Canning tomatoes

Lessons Learned From Canning Tomatoes

Tomato crop

This was only half of the tomato crop that I got to deal with this past Saturday. About a week before that I had mentioned to Dominic that we really needed to get out and pick our tomatoes, so he did just that and then they sat on my kitchen counter mocking me for a week.

Did you know that tomatoes can mock?? They do, I have seen it first hand! 😉

I knew that if I didn’t do something with them on Saturday they would spoil. Initially I thought that I would make homemade spaghetti sauce and bought all of the ingredients at the store to do so, but when I got home our internet was down (and stayed down for 2 days!!) and searching  for a recipe on my phone proved difficult. And as a side note….what I could read on my phone was conflicting regarding the safety of canning spaghetti sauce because of the acidity levels etc….can anyone confirm/deny that?? I would still like to do it if it is safe!

Anyways, back to my afternoon. I started at about 1pm, getting everything set up so I could blanche and peel the tomatoes first. It proved to be a BIG job. BIG. I spent almost 4 hours doing that alone.

4 hours people. 4 hours.

Typically this is something that Dominic and I would do together, one of us doing the blanching part and the other doing the peeling. But after the crazy-busy week we had and Dominic on the road for 2 days, he had to be in the office getting work done so that we could deal with the week ahead.

And so I went at it alone.

Meanwhile my kids were acting a little crazy, and I was getting increasingly more tired and more irritated at how long this was taking.

Once the tomatoes were all dealt with it was time to cook everything down.

tomatoes boiling

This too takes time, and it wasn’t like I could just leave it and do other things. In this case a non-watched pot will boil over and scorch. So I was constantly there, watching and stiring.

Then comes the canning process itself. I do the hot jar, self seal method…because I don’t have a pressure cooker. So I make sure the tomatoes have boiled for a long time, then add them to the hot jars, as the jars cool they self seal!

Because I was working alone I could only do 2 jars at a time. I ended up with 36 quarts. Just the canning was time consuming!

By this point my kitchen was a mess. Half my sink loaded with the days dirty dishes, unable to be loaded into the dishwasher because I was using it for the jars. The kids were tired and crabby and a barking dog didn’t help my increasing stress level.

I.HAD.JUST.ABOUT.ENOUGH.

I could feel the grumble come on fast.

Why wasn’t he here helping me?

How could it be taking him so long at the office?

Why do I always get stuck doing these hard jobs?

And then I stopped in my tracks.

I KNEW what was happening. The enemy was on attack, and at my most tired, weakest moment I was giving in.

So what does one do in a moment like this?

I talked myself down off the ledge. Yep, I admit I was talking out loud to myself in the kitchen. Call me crazy, but saying truth out loud in that moment was exactly what I needed to be doing!

So I replaced the lies with the truth.

Dominic is working hard FOR US!

He would rather be here helping, he had even said that this morning, but he needed to get work done so that this coming week was half-way manageable.

The hard work was worth it and I would be grateful for all of it come this winter when I needed fresh tomatoes!

And at that moment my perspective changed. 

Yes it was almost 10pm. Yes I had been standing and working for almost 9 hours straight. But this was MY CHOICE! I wanted to plant the tomatoes. I wanted to do the canning. Regardless of how my situation turned out on Saturday, this was my choice and I was going to choose to be grateful for it.

And then I heard it.

Pop!

If you haven’t ever done canning, you may not know the sound. But it was beautiful to me at that moment.

And I shouted “Praise Jesus”!

Elijah happened to wander back in just at that moment and asked me what was going on. So I told him that I was praising God for every lid that sealed. That I was grateful my hard work was paying off, and God deserved the glory.

Pop…Praise Jesus!

Pop…Praise Jesus!

It went on for about an hour. The kitchen was all cleaned up at this point and I finally had a moment to rest. But with each Pop, I would Praise Jesus.

It is hard to be crabby when you are praising God! (<====Click to Tweet)

tomatoes finished

I don’t know what “job” you face this week. Maybe it is time at an office that is the last place you want to be. Maybe it is the throws of motherhood that has you worn and harried. Take some advice from someone who has learned these lessons the hard way…

Find the beauty in the small things and Praise Jesus. (<====Click to Tweet)

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