Pumpkins and Soup

I pulled one of my Neck Pumpkins from the field too early, and it wasn’t curing well, so I carved it up this morning and roasted the slices piled in a buttered 9 1/2 x 13 dish covered with foil.  I’ll scoop the mass of flesh out of the pan this afternoon and freeze it in bags for eating by itself or in soups and pumpkin pie.

Neck pumpkinAlthough I picked slicing tomatoes last Thursday for market, I hadn’t picked the paste tomatoes for a number of days, so M and I headed out to the farm to harvest those, plus summer squash, slicing and pickling cukes, and sweet peppers-turning-red.

So far for tomato products this season, I’ve canned 57 pints of tomato sauce, about two cases (24 jars) of salsa in pint and half-pint jars, 11 quarts ratatouille, 4 quarts TOS (tomatoes, squash, and okra), and eleven half-pints of Hungarian hot sauce.

(This doesn’t seem like that much now that I write it down.)

After bringing the tomatoes back into town and separating out the red-ripe from the not-quite-ripe, I’ve got another 25lbs. or so of tomatoes that are most definitely not going to make it to market this week.

tomatoes for soupSince H’s vote for the next tomato project is soup, I’ve been poking about the internets for good tomato soup canning recipes.  There are a lot of them out there, and quite frankly, a lot of them are scary.  Lots of flour-and-butter thickeners processed in boiling water baths. Lots of added low acid ingredients processed for much too short a time.

All this has sent me right back to the old standby, Putting Food By.  While the “Country Tomato Soup” isn’t quite what I want, I’ve got enough information in the book to know how I need to process depending on what I add to it.

It does look like I can use corn starch for thickener and celery for flavor and still get by with a 35-minute processing at ten pounds pressure with the goal of a safe and delicious product.

So, there’s yet another tomato canning adventure coming my way.

Someone told me there was going to be a frost next week.  There isn’t as far as I can tell, but I sure wouldn’t mind one at this point.


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