Red day of canning: Tomatoes and Plums

It got a little late last night to post this, so I will do it quickly before I leave for Hebron. Hopefully the papers get signed on Friday, which means pack up the last of the boxes and off to new house in Dickinson. James and I are drafting a contract of our own. It will say something like: If Nate and Victoria Clark move within the next five years, we either do NOT help, or they take us to Disney World as payment. HAHa!!

Plum jelly finished and tomatoes to go.

Plum jelly finished and tomatoes to go.

Yesterday, Sunday, after church and getting home from visiting Alvina and such, we got to work. It was canning time again. I will be gone all of this week, that is if I ever get out of the house this morning. I just keep finding more and more things that are holding me here. We started with the plums. We still had six ice cream pails to do. Some were full and two were just barely over half. James picked off the stems and tossed the rotten ones while watching football. Multi tasking even in canning.

I washed the plums and did the final look through. Put a batch on the stove to boil down. After we had two sets washed and one in the kettle, it was time for the tomatoes. Paulina had picked the ripest of those on the table the day before, she was in charge of washing them. I started the water and began the hot water bath process. As soon as she was finished with the tomatoes, the plums were ready so she ran them through the cone. By the time she was finished with that, the tomatoes were in the cake pans to cool, and the second set of plums could go into the cleaned tomato kettle, while I boiled up batch one of the jelly.

We kept working back and forth on the tomatoes and the two batches of jelly until after 6 p.m. There were a few interruptions for some outside work. James cut the worms with the spider web looking nets out of the willow tree, grandma’s apple tree and the other tree at her place. We also finished up the laundry over there and picked through the garden a bit more.

Spagetti in the canner, small tomatoes blanching.

Spaghetti in the canner, small tomatoes blanching.

When Paulina left at 7:30 we had 2 batches of Plum jelly (5 pints + 1 half pint in the first one and 4 wide mouth pints and 1 half pint in the second one.) We also had 7 quarts of spaghetti sauce processed and 3/4 of a quart in the fridge for later this week. Now it was off to work without Paulina. We had the last set of plums and the small tomatoes to finish. James and I learned what it is like to work together without children again. Not always the easiest, but I told him I am only super particular to make it taste better. Ha!! I did appreciate his help. In this round we ended up with 4 quarts+1 pint of tomato juice with green pepper in it, and 5 pints of super good plum jelly. This was really the best batch by far. Jaxon will be getting one of these.

Green pepper puree for in the juice.

Green pepper puree for in the juice.

Juice in the pot to boil up the flavor.

Juice in the pot to boil up the flavor.

This last round took us from when Paulina left to after midnight for me. James turned in before he became a pumpkin, but I puttered around doing what I could to finish up. We were interrupted again by no less than the need to go out and cover everything. And because we thought the threat of frost was over, I had set all the plants out on display in the afternoon. So it was carry everything back under shelter. This time we were in the garden with the van headlights on us. We tried hard to avoid that, but I guess. I am thinking that on the next frost, we will just let it go, I think we have enough for now. Well, off to Hebron, and Happy canning to you all.

Jelly headed to Hebron for Jaxon, oh yes and a bag of candy corn for us to devour.

Jelly headed to Hebron for Jaxon, oh yes and a bag of candy corn for us to devour.

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