Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Fruits of My Mother's Labor

My mom's canned tomaotes and sweet pickles, 2011.
I thought I was having a pretty productive day until I got a photo from my mother showing me her freshly canned tomatoes and sweet pickles.  I comfort myself by remembering that the pickles took longer than a day to make and canning them is really the easy part. (Of course, she's been working hard for the past two weeks to make them, but that's another story.)

My mom told me last night on the phone that she  canned nine quarts of tomatoes yesterday-- tomatoes that my parents grew themselves.  I haven't had enough tomatoes at one time to make a decent salad, much less can any.  Clearly, my mother hasn't finished canning.  The pyrex bowl of ripe tomatoes I see in the photo are probably occupying her time this afternoon.

I have no hope of canning my own tomatoes this year and I slacked off on the pickles as well.  I still have some left over from last year and in spite of the fact that my mother says they're not as good after the first year, my family will still be eating them.  In defense of my laziness, I did look for my favorite Japanese Short cucumbers at the farmer's market.  In fact, I looked for them at SEVERAL farmer's markets and I could never find cucumbers that seemed worthy of all the effort it takes to make sweet pickles.

In honor of my mother, I am re-posting a link to my mother's recipe for sweet pickles, along with the hero shot of last year's triumph.  Luckily, I suspect it's too late to buy Japanese Shorts or I just might be tempted to start a fresh batch of pickles...
My first batch of homemade sweet pickles, 2010.


  1. Wow! We have at least 12 tomato plants going this year that have literally yielded approximately 6 tomatoes all year--including cherry tomatoes! Can your mother share her family secret?

  2. Your crop sounds about like mine. If it's any consolation, my friend Daniel always has an amazing tomato crop and his didn't do much this year either. I guess it was the weather. Regarding my mother-- she plants a special heirloom seed she calls the "Mennonite" tomato because my uncle originally got it from a Mennonite farmer and they've saved the seeds year after year. I've tried to grow it here, but it doesn't seem to like the hot temps. Sigh.