It's that time of year when the gardens are over- producing. If you're not giving it away, then it's time to 'put it up'. My zucchini plants for some reason have not done well this year or last. But my cucumbers did surprisingly well (for me) and my tomatoes - wow! They usually do pretty well, but they have never grown so tall as they have this year. They are at least 5 ft high, bent over due to their heavy load of fruit. Green beans always do well for me, and peppers this year are also producing at an impressive rate.
My youngest daughter has never planted a vegetable garden before this year, but new home, new space, and of course, lots of time on her hands led her to put in a few plants. I have never seen cucumbers like hers. I guess she got the prolific plants of the litter. So...we made pickles. She wanted to learn how to can. I'm so happy and proud of her for that. From her little cucumber patch we got 11 pints and 2 quarts of pickles! Then, on her own, she canned another 11 bottles! Did I say prolific plants?
This week we're going to can tomatoes. Stewed tomatoes specifically.
Canning always takes me back to my childhood. My grandparents had a basement, with a stove, where all their canning was done. I do mine in my kitchen. It was the kids' jobs to wash the vegetables and I specifically recall scrubbing cucumbers. I can still feel the cold water, and the brush, and those little black nubs that I washed off. The smells during canning were always delicious. Except for beets. To this day my stomach curdles at the smell of beets. But tomatoes...
I have to go put the water on to boil.