The summer kitchen was just steps away from the house.
My Mom spent countless hours in their canning. It was a way of life, a necessity I suppose.
This homemaking act was passed down through generations before her.
Things have definitely changed over the years.
I certainly don't can the volume that my Mom used to, but a few years ago I decided to start canning. I wanted to keep this homemaking art alive.
I also enlisted the help of my family...
My Handy Hubby.
My oldest daughter.
My youngest daughter.
I want my girls to know where their food comes from, how to have fun creating meals, and how to preserve fresh food through canning.
Ever since they were little girls, they have helped in the garden and the kitchen.
Their jobs have evolved over the years, as they have gotten older.
These are skills that they can use their entire lives.
For this round of canning, we did tomatoes...a favorite in our house.
We canned them quartered, allowing for many possibilities.
Smashed with a potato masher makes the perfect texture for casseroles.
Diced, they are delicious in soups, stews, and chowders.
When purred they add such wonderful taste to sauces.
We had an assembly line...
First we placed an X on the bottom of the tomato. This helps the peeling come off easier.
We submerged a few tomatoes at a time in boiling water, for just a couple minutes.
Placed them in cold water, so they are easier to handle.
Peeled the skin off.
Put them in hot canning jars.
Added lemon juice.
Checked for air bubbles.
Placed the insert (that was hanging out in simmering water) onto the jars.
Then we put the bands on.
Carefully put them in the caner.
All snuggled in for their hot water bath.
And let them cool on a vintage feed sack handed down from my maternal Grandma.