Celebrate the culture of agriculture & share skills (Growing! Cooking! Eating!)

I firmly believe there's a Murphy's Law of Canning. You know Murphy's Law, right? Anything that can go wrong will go wrong? I believe that is statistically true over time.

[I had an ultrasound by an OB/Geneticist--yeah, not too many of those around, I'm special--who told me that anyone who had not had an unexpected outcome from a routine amniocentesis simply hadn't done enough procedures. You cannot control every variable.]

Away from math & medical stuff, back to the issue at hand. Canning. It's August which means I am elbows deep in putting up food for winter. It's not that I live in a remote mountaintop. Heck, I can walk a mile on sidewalks streets to a grocery store that will be roasting Hatch chiles shipped from New Mexico this month, and flying in salmon overnight from Alaska later this year. [But the price for a jar of peanut butter? Dear.] I don't can because I cannot access food year round.

  • I can because I like the taste of local foods.
  • I can because I hate to waste food that my farmers and I have grown.
  • I can because my mommy taught me to be adventurous in the kitchen.
  • I can because I have a huge sense of satisfaction looking at and using the results of my efforts.
  • I can because these days I've got all world knowledge at your fingertips so I may as well give it a go.

My favorite site for basic canning tips and recipes is Pick Your Own, and my favorite site for yummy new ideas in small batch canning is Food In Jars.

Murphy's law applies to canning, in my household, because no matter how well I inventory my supplies prior to the season [Cathy Barrow has an excellent post on getting ready for the canning...] I will always be out of the one size lid or jar that I need. Last year I had boxes upon boxes of wide mouth lids but needed regular mouth lids time and again. This year I've got more than two dozen quart-sized jars just sitting empty in the basement while I transfer the contents of opened pint and half pint jars into other containers in the fridge, wash them, and put them into service holding salsa and pizza sauce. It's just the way of it, I suppose.

In addition to putting up these lovely tomatoes, I've been enjoying them fresh. As I was waiting for a peach gooey butter cake to finish baking last weekend I whipped up a quick panzanella to take to the cookout as well. You can find the recipe here.

At the end of marching band camp we still had a lot of bananas. I was happy to take a bunch, pun intended, and snuggle them in between the cow that's in the freezer. These whole wheat Banana Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins are my go-to banana muffins, and I've shared links to other recipe round ups using ripe bananas.

Speaking of recipe round ups, I was working on a post about how I eat in the summer but it just wasn't flowing. Instead, I polled other food bloggers for their favorite summer recipe to make a round up how to enjoy the best of summer produce, How We Eat In Summer.

My favorite way? A tomato sandwich.

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