24 pints!

Look what I did today!

I went to my grandma’s house and canned 24 pints of tomatoes! Want to hear about it?

After I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, one of my goals for this summer was to learn how to can things. (One of my other goals was to read Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, so at least one of my goals was accomplished.) A few years ago, Grandma taught me how to make tomato juice, but we use a lot of canned tomatoes, and I thought it would be useful to learn how to can them myself, using local tomatoes. Plus, quality Grandma time. Win-win-win.

This morning I went to Food Lion to buy lids for the jars. I love doing things like that. It makes me feel like I am part of the cool club that knows how to can things. Except for the part where I had to ask where they were. They weren’t with the jam making things, which I think is kind of weird. That’s weird, right? Please agree with me. Also, while I was there, I managed to make the bagboy uncomfortable. He has been the same bagboy the past two times I have been there! Also, he has had a little difficulty with the concept of me bringing my own bags. I said, “You are here every time I come here.” He just looked at me. I considered telling him that I was stalking him, but I kind of don’t want to go to jail. So I just left. I thought that would be best.

(Other than the Super G Mart, there are two regular grocery store options really close to our house: Food Lion and Harris Teeter. When we moved in, Mike said he didn’t want to shop at Food Lion because the service is not as good. But I asked him to try it, and we have actually had pretty good service there overall. We haven’t had to wait like we have at other Food Lions. I think it is our grocery store. Also, I bought some Pirate’s Booty for Alisa for $2.29. That is a good price for Booty. It costs like $5.00 at Harris Teeter. Which brings me to the point of this aside: as I told Alisa, I know Harris Teeter is nicer. But every time I shop there, the food tastes like guilt. Plus, soon this bagboy and I will have worked out our canvas bag issues, and everything will be grand! Either that or he will be so creeped out by me that he will quit. Whichever. I’m not picky.)

Back to the story! From Food Lion, I traveled to the Farmer’s Market, where I made a man from Dodge Lodge Farm very happy by buying a peck of tomatoes. My grandma had some, and my Uncle Buddy had some, but Grandma said we needed a few more, so she told me to get a peck. Or 1/4 bushel. Which is around 13 pounds. The guy who was helping the Dodge Lodge Farmer said, “You should come back every week and buy 13 pounds of tomatoes!” Mr. Dodge Lodge Farm said, “She does come here all the time.” Which is true. And awesome. I’m a regular! (For the record, 13 pounds of fresh tomatoes every week is my idea of what heaven will be like.) Also, I made another vendor jealous. She wanted to know how Mr. Dodge Lodge Farm was able to get this large sale. I did not mean to cause strife at the Farmer’s Market. But I do like being fought over.

I also bought two yellow tomatoes because I could not pass them up. Scott, do I need to take a picture of them for you?

And then I went to Grandma’s house, and she taught me how to can tomatoes! Which you can look up on the internet, so I am not going to tell you about them. Suffice it to say that I was having the best day ever, what with the massive amounts of tomatoes and the domesticity and the productivity and the hanging out at Grandma’s house! And we were going to have dinner with Brian and Sarah! But the plumber was late and we didn’t get to have dinner with Brian and Sarah. So it is no longer the best day ever, just a really good day up until about 5:30.

Hey, um, let’s look at that picture again.

What’s going on there? Are those . . . new countertops I see? Is that a yellow wall back there? What is going on?! Well, consider this a tiny preview. We are still working on things. But I thought maybe this picture might tide you over for now.

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  1. […] food from scratch, and generally try to be good stewards of the things that we have. When I want to can tomatoes, I can go to my grandma‚Äôs house and she happily talks me through it. (In fact, she has told me […]