Friday, October 3, 2008

Patchwork and Preserving

I bought a canner and a bunch of jars some time ago, but I have never gotten around to actually canning anything. Yesterday however, when I went up to the markets there was a box of 'seconds' tomatoes for $5. I couldn't resist such a bargain and so I carried them home and set about with my first ever canning experience.

I turned this:












In to this:













I was very proud of myself and I have far more respect for people who can regularly. I didn't realise quite how MESSY skinning that many tomatoes would be haha. I was also suprised at how much space there was in the top of them this one being the most obvious:



















When I packed them in I only left about a half inch head space and I did make sure to try and remove any air bubbles before processing. Any thoughts? They all appear to have sealed properly at least. I am really looking forwards to our next lot of spaghetti bolognaise made with these tomatoes :)

I have also been keeping myself busy with a new project - a small patchwork wallhanging. My previous experience with patchwork consists of one square I did for my Grandmas quilt years ago when she had cancer. All the women in the family worked on it together while she was unwell. Thankfully she recovered and has been fine ever since but patchwork will always hold a special place in my heart because of that time we all spent together. I want to eventually make a big quilt for our bed - something that will become a family heirloom - but for once I am being sensible and starting small. Isn't it cute?



















I had so much fun choosing the fabrics and can't wait to see what it will look like finished! I especially love the background fabric with the hay coloured stripes and pretty little flowers.

















And last but not least, here are some pics of the garden I took last weekend but never got around to posting.

You can really see the difference between this shot, and a similar one a few posts back!



















The mulberry has a tonne of beautiful glossy new leaves



















And the little lemon is in full bloom. The smell out there is gorgeous.

5 comments:

molly said...

Those tomatoes look stunning. As long as your lids have popped and they were processed for the right amount of time you should be fine.
Here's a few links that might be helpful to you:
http://greenlivingaustralia.com.au/pressurepreserving.html

http://www.astray.com/recipes/?search=canning

B;essings:)

saranne said...

Hi! I'm jealous of all those tomatoes, at the moment one tomato is about $1.50 at my supermarket!

You've really found your writing voice, I'm looking forward to reading more of your blog. I should really start one myself.

hugs, Saranne

Em said...

Hi Molly, thanks for the links :) The lids are concave and seem to have a really good seal. I think next time I just need to pack the tomatoes in a bit better.

Saranne, that's what you get for being in Japan :P And yes you should definitely start a blog! I would love to hear more about how things are going over there and see some pics too!

oxo Em

alysonhill said...

Those jars look fabulous - next Winter you'll feel so clever opening one of them to make a pasta sauce! Did you have trouble sourcing your preserving set - I haven't been able to source one for love nor money! Your piccys are great and your enthusiasm makes me get out to my garden to find something extra to put in the dinner :) !

Em said...

Hehe yes, I still have them sitting in a cool spot on the kitchen bench where I can admire my handiwork. I got all my canning stuff on ebay from user shell**blue

Glad I am motivating you a bit. That is the main reason I read other peoples blogs - it encourages me to try new things and make the most of what I've got!