Twenty-seven pounds of tomatoes from the farmers market and a trip update

We went straight from the lake to KC this weekend.   I LOVE that city.  We went to two Royal games with friends and although we are not big baseball fans we had a great time (mostly observing the fans—both Royals and Red Sox).









Of course, no trip to KC would be complete without a trip to Grinders.  So, we started our stay by making that our first stop.  My husband is such a sweetie though that he actually allowed us to visit Grinders West.   (These two places are like night and day!  We love them both.)

The menu.

So what to order?  Bloody Mary’s and soup, salad and sandwiches from Grinders West.    Beer and Pizza from Grinders.    This was our first and last stop to round out our stay.

Grinders and Grinders West in the Crossroads.

Our other destination dining spot was Julian, Chef Celina Tio’s restaurant (yes, of Top Chef Master fame).   What a great find.  Chef Tio met customers at the door and seated us all in her cozy restaurant in the Brookside area.  The staff was great and EVERYONE seemed to love their respective jobs.  Lunch was fabulous from the pork loin sandwich with Boulevard Beer mac n’ cheese to my chicken and eggplant flatbread and “Yesterday’s Soup.”

Julian in Brookside

This is on our list for dinner the next time we hit the town.

Another favorite spot is Christopher Elbow and the fantastic confections there:

Every chocolate combination imaginable.

But finally, let me get to the heart of this post.  With no tomatoes from our own garden, we bought twenty-seven pounds of tomatoes at the City Market Farmers Market on Sunday before we left town.

Our work was cut out of us.

After traveling all afternoon in the trunk, we desperately needed to work them up when we got home Sunday night.   With both of us blanching,  peeling,  and chopping,  we made quick work of it.

I had found a recipe in a local publication that featured one of Martha Stewart’s recipes for canned tomatoes.  I had never used herbs in my canning, so I decided to give this a try.

“Summer in a Jar”
Canned Tomatoes with Basil
Based on a Martha Stewart recipe

18 lbs. ripe tomatoes
juice of two lemons
2 T. gray sea salt
12 basil leaves

Equipment needed:
6 pint jars, washed and sterilized
6 bands and lids
1 large pot for blanching tomatoes
1 large canner

Start water in canner to heating.   Start another large pot of water to simmering for blanching tomatoes.

Prepare an ice-bath in a large mixing bowl or in a clean kitchen sink.

Score an “X”  in the bottom of each tomato.  When blanching water has reached a simmer, add tomatoes in batches and blanch for one to two minutes.  Transfer immediately to ice-bath.   Keep working in batches until all tomatoes are blanched.

Peel, core and quarter tomatoes and place them in a bowl.  (The original recipe said to remove seeds, but I didn’t take the time for that step.)

To each sterilized jar, add 1 T. lemon juice, 1 t. gray sea salt, and 2 basil leaves.   Add tomatoes, compressing with a rubber spatula to remove air bubbles.  Add reserved juice and leave 1/2 inch space in each jar.  (I also ran my knife down threw the tomatoes in the jar to remove air bubbles.)

Wipe rim of jar with a clean damp cloth, place sterilized lid on each jar and screw on rings tight.

Transfer jars to the canner and cover with two inches of water.  Cover and bring back to boil.  Process for 45 minutes.  Remove from canner and let cool, listening for the lids to pop so you know they are sealed.   (If you have one that doesn’t seal, refrigerate and use within two weeks.)

I love the yellow and red tomatoes.

By 9:30,  I could hear my lids popping,  signaling canning success.   By 10:00,  I had our canning mess almost cleaned up.

I have about ten more pounds that I am going to roast in the oven to make Roasted Tomato Sauce to freeze.

And, again, I am still hoping for fall tomatoes!


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