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Summer is Winding Down – Slow Food is Gearing Up

August 2, 2008

Today I went to my local farmer’s market here in Peekskill and one particular farmer did a superb favor for me and provided me with large beefsteak green tomatoes. I had asked last week if he had any at his farm available and promised me he would pick some. Not only had he picked them this very morning – which had to be when the sun first rose, but they still smelled of the wonders of fresh tomato plants.

Now some of you who may have never gardened before, the smell of super fresh vegetables and fruits just picked off the vine is simply truly amazing. And let’s not even go there as to how these fruits and vegetables taste when they are that fresh. If you knew, you would soon become a food snob insisting on nothing but farm fresh veggies and fruits! Fortunately for those in large enough cities, the idea of a local Farmers Markets have grown allowing city folk to enjoy the wonders of fresh unprocessed foods.

I mentioned to the farmer that he or his wife must have a fantastic fried green tomato recipe, and his answer was that his mother used to make a green tomato pie. When I heard this, I knew I had to look up at some of my own grandmother’s recipes for green tomato pie and even tomato butter. Since it sounded like he hadn’t had a green tomato pie since his mother was alive, not only will I share that recipe with him, but with the farmers market cooking that my city Of Peekskill is putting together. And of course, once it is written out, I will share it with you here.

All of this bring me to the point I wanted to make about canning. Though it may sound a little too early to think about canning, actually now is the perfect time to start canning those extra vegetables you may have that you cannot pawn off on your neighbors. Canning allows you to easily have food through out the winter seasons with the taste of long hot summers.

So many of my recipes at my dinner and jam blog list recipe after recipe which includes making things from scratch and as the summer starts to wind down, I have started to really think about canning.

But here are several quick links for recipes using fresh tomatoes, green beans and zucchini you may have in abundance or find more affordable at the grocery store now they are well into their season.

My grandmother used to can tomatoes, make apple butter and apple sauce from our few apple trees we had along with a few other things. An ex mother-in-law also would can tomatoes, rows and rows of jars would line the shelves in the cold garage, and let me tell you, to be able to simply get a jar and use that versus a canned jar of tomatoes when making your own sauce is seriously, as Alton Brown would say, “Good Eats!”.

As I was helping a friend prepare for her wedding, I found a great affordable source for canning supplies and here is that link to Goodman’s which are based in Florida: http://www.goodmans.net/

Here you will find so many shapes and sizes of mason-type jars, lids and seals along with some interesting other supplies you may find useful. Remember you can easily use sterilized old jam and pickle jars for canning. This does not have to be an expensive journey nor a mass production.

You can also find affordable sources for canning supplies at grocery stores and at larger ‘discount’ stores. If you are new to canning or at the very least want to learn more about it, I will certainly prepare an article on canning in the coming days. There are a variety of ways to can fruit and vegetables and I will provide several recipes to boot. So stay tuned!

Eat Fresh And Eat Slow Food, from Our Kitchen to Yours,

Leah

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