August Can Jam: (not) Tomatoes

Or,  How I Didn’t Can Tomatoes in August.

August Can Jam was tomatoes, chosen by the lovely Julia at What Julia Ate. Lovely Julia, lovely tomatoes. Sad me without tomatoes.

Let’s take a look at my tomatoes shall we?

august mid month meanderings seattle garden

For 18 tomatoes plants, we have a completely UN-impressive amount of fruit. And it is green. Still.

Sad huh?

I considered gathering up my greens and making a Green Tomato Relish or Green Tomato Salsa Verde.  Though, I realized this would mean completely eliminating my hopes for a ripe, red tomato this year.   There are always loads of green tomatoes at the end of  the best of Seattle summers.  So, there will be time for green tomatoes. August is not that time. In fact it makes me feel like I have totally given up on summer.

Last weekend I went away with the lovely Ladyfriend and our friends to the east side of the Cascades.  An area of Potential-Tomato-Promise.   A weekend of great food, fancy drinks (Fresh Picked Blackberry Lime Rickeys and Homemade Rhubarb Wine Sangria!!!), loads of laughs, tubing and a Mission.

Mission:  find tomatoes.

While away, I flipped through one of my grandmother’s recipe books that my mom brought to me. Full of old handwritten recipes, newspaper cut outs and anecdotes such as “Uncle Bob really liked this” or “Roberta sang at mom’s wedding.”  It is chock full of timeless recipes. And a few more obscure randomness of canned tuna mousse in a jello mold and the like.  (I shudder the concept but, hey, it was the cuisine of the time & place. I’m not about to question it.)

august can jam tomato

She's a classic isn't she?

Inside I found a handwritten recipe of my grandmother’s for Chili Sauce with the declaration on the bottom  written by my mom “Mom was famous for this.”  How easy was that decision?  It was made for me!  I would be making chili sauce.  (What does one do with chili sauce?  Is this recipe anything at all like Sriracha sauce?  If so, I really do want!!!)

august can jam tomato

love that there is both my mom's and grandma's handwriting

But tomatoes.  We drove to the Wenatchee Farmer’s Market but it was closed for some unexplained reason.  Closed!?  What the heck?  August? Closed? Not quite yet thwarted we drove up hwy 97 a bit and hit a few fruit stands.

I didn’t get tomatoes.  Oh, there were a few. There were some bearing signs like “first of the season” and while they looked awesome there wasn’t just wasn’t enough for canning.

I’m singing a sad, sad tune here.

I did, however, come home with 20# of peaches.  And a bunch of nectarines.  I also came home to 8 perfectly ripe pickling cucumbers.  At least something is producing!

So, while I did not can tomatoes, I did can Butterscotch Peach Jam (thanks to a recipe sent to me by Shae @ Hitchhiking to Heaven), Peach Vanilla Jam (from Tartlette) and Indian Spiced Pickle Relish (from Leena Eats).  And picked and froze a few gallons of assorted blackberries, strawberries, nectarines and peaches.

august can jam tomato

But tomatoes…perhaps September.  I’m counting on September.  And I’m counting on the Can Jammers to find the best of the best recipes!

****Past Can Jams:  CitrusCarrotsAlliumsHerbsRhubarb (or Asparagus),  Berries and Cucurbits.

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17 Responses to August Can Jam: (not) Tomatoes

  1. Girl, good for you, declining to pillage your own tomato harvest. And I love that you posted the photo of the old recipe. I’m a sucker for found scraps of paper with sentimental value. I wish you a saucy September.

  2. Julia says:

    You came clean, Meg. What else could you do? I really love that book. Wish I had something that dear. There is hope for the chili sauce!

  3. Travel Mommy says:

    Grandma would be so thrilled about your gardening, cooking, canning etc. You know that she is smiling seeing your blog. I can just picture her wondering around your garden. You know how she always had to be able to have flowers and some veggies. You truly are her namesake!

  4. Anne says:

    It seems to be a common thing this year.. delayed tomatoes. There are some like Siberian, Silvery fir tree and Stupice that always seem to be the first to pick.. and of course then the assortment of cherry tomatoes.

    Every year is a gamble… every season is a surprise.

  5. aastricker says:

    My tomatoes are ripening, but I seem to have blight. :( I pick a couple every day and whittle off the icky bits; I had to buy tomatoes for The Jam.

  6. AshleytheIslander says:

    I’m just across the border in Victoria and my cherry tomatoes are JUST starting to ripen now. We have at least 20 plants that have been heavy with green tomatoes for what feels like months already. And as quickly as they are ripening my daughter is eating them up, so I may never have enough to preserve them this year.

  7. LeAnn says:

    Hearing you. My tomatoes are late too. And I have some blight. Make more pickles.

  8. Unearthing This Life says:

    It amazes me that you’re just getting your first tomatoes! We had blight this year and I’m now yanking my plants out. Oh, and your jars look great! I may have to try that peach vanilla jam!!

  9. Mimi says:

    I had to do that last month for cucurbits.
    And, yum! Good job, those peaches look wonderful. Enjoy.

  10. angela says:

    love the grandma recipe! love the recipe itself, of course, but mostly love that it exists, and is celebrated!

  11. Gloria says:

    I think you have more than made up for the lack of tomatoes. How I love your recipe book with special comments. You are so lucky to have that.

  12. Thanks Gloria & Angela- I loved getting the old cookbook! I’m telling you… there are some wacky things in there and likely some treasures too!

  13. Pingback: My Own Can Jam Tomato Roundup | Grow & Resist

  14. Pingback: Can Jam- September Edition: Stone Fruits (and bonus For the Love of Salads: Peach Arugula Salad!) | Grow & Resist

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