There’s no set recipe, but this year it went something like this…
After a hearty breakfast, assemble the family. Equip half with knives and cutting boards in the kitchen. Send the other half to the garden with buckets, colanders and knives to pick vegetables and ferry them in to the cutting crew. Pick and chop the following:
12 ears sweet corn
8 sweet peppers
8 jalapeño peppers
5 Thai hot peppers
3 large beets
3 cups fresh shelled soy beans
8 stalks celery
8 quarts tomato
10 bay leaves
3 cups herbs (basil, parsley, rosemary)
8 cups green beans
12 small boiling potatoes
5 medium zucchini
5 oyster mushrooms
As you chop, put all the good stems, peels, and over mature vegetables into a pot. Top with water and put on a back burner to simmer for stock.
Take a break for lunch, then send the kids outside to play.
In an enormous pot, sauté onion, peppers and celery until onion is translucent. Add garlic and cook another couple of minutes. Add remaining ingredients and enough water to call it soup. Bring to a boil. Meanwhile, prepare 24 quart jars and the pressure canner.
Separate off enough soup for dinner. Boil the rest 5 minutes.
Send your husband outside to play.
Pressure can the remaining soup. Strain the stock and can it, alongside the soup. Plan on 4 canner loads. While the third batch is in the canner, reheat the soup for dinner.
Sit down to soup for dinner, but don’t forget to keep an eye on the canner.
While the last batch is processing, pour a glass of wine, and blog.
Pull the last batch out of the canner at 9.30 pm.
Go to bed and dream of all the wonderful canned summertime lined up in jars in the kitchen, waiting for those dark winter days when everyone comes home late and hungry.