We are extremely grateful for the delicious tomatoes to enjoy fresh and the chance to preserve some for us to enjoy later - it just isn't easy or fast work.
We have these brief flashes of panic and stress because the tomatoes ripen at their own pace. We may not have the time or energy to deal with the volume of tomatoes that presents itself at any given time. However, you can't put off ripe tomatoes. They just don't wait for anyone.
I usually feel that all of summer is a balancing act of joy and gratitude for a crop that we GET to process into delicious salsa, sauces, and more, and pure panic and stress that we will let good food go to waste or will spend hours in the kitchen when we are so tired that we can hardly stand.
This week was a great example. We had a very hectic weekend with a lot of driving all across the state to meet our various obligations. We picked tomatoes and canned a batch between going here and there. We already had enough waiting for another round of canning and my husband asked me if I had seen the garden.
This was what I found!
After Monday's haul, we had every flat surface in my kitchen covered in tomatoes! My mom joined me on Tuesday night to put up a batch each of pasta sauce and salsa.
While none of the tomatoes are blue ribbon material at this point in the season, they are delicious. There is nothing better than a counter with beautiful jars of salsa and pasta sauce. All the hard work pays off when we enjoy the great food. In the meantime, I spend time calculating how to arrange my schedule around canning sessions.