Sunday, June 21, 2009

Question Answered, The Invalid and Taste Test

This is a post I have been working on this whole week. Finally finished!
Poney and Petey asked:

"Hey Kristi...would you mind sharing your tomato preservation choice? Do you follow the Ball Blue Book? Hot water bath? Pressure cooker? Do you add lemon juice and/or salt?What varieties of tomato products will you can? Juice? sauce? salsa? diced? stewed with green peppers?Basically, share whatever is in your head about tomato preserving, if you have the time and are willing!!"

Hi Poney, Yes, I do use the Ball Blue Book. I also use Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. The extent of my tomato preservation in the past was whole tomatoes using the water bath method. I added citric acid to make sure they were acidic enough. Preserving tomatoes using the water bath method isn't recommended any longer because of the low acid levels in modern hybrids.

But, truthfully I'm not that experienced. Mostly because I've never grew any significant amount of tomatoes. Hopefully this year will change all that. Already I have quite a harvest and I am going to start trying some things soon. I'd really like to try salsa and sauce, and if I have enough maybe green tomato pickles and paste. I do intend on perusing my books and marking all the interesting recipes for tomatoes I find. When I do I'll share. So far we have been stuffing our guts with as many fresh tomatoes as possible! If anyone would like to share a tomato recipe please comment.

This is the Invalid.

Trust your mother's instinct. When I found out the camp I paid for and my two youngest girls wanted to go to was six hours away in north Mississippi, I had misgivings, but let them go anyway. I received the dreaded 3:30 am in the morning call last Saturday. Me in my optimism immediately thought, "Oh wow, they're calling me to let me know they're leaving early." Dumb.

"Um, Kristi? Um, don't be afraid....but we're bringing Talia to the hospital....Um, we're not sure what's wrong but she's having severe pain in her throat and stomach and we think she's, maybe strep throat, but the nurse thinks it may be something else and say's we should bring her to the clinic....possibly appendicitis..."

Thankfully two of her Aunts an Uncle and a lot of friends were with her. There was no way I went back to sleep that night. I would have been on the road immediately but.....of course I happened to have a wedding that night as well (I'm an event florist) and on top of everything it was my birthday. Thankfully my assistant and good friend Betsy came through in a pinch. I hurriedly rushed to finish the flowers for the wedding all the while waiting for the prognosis call. It was.....appendicitis. I'm not complaining. It could have been something much much worse. I'm actually thankful.

Betsy arrived and finished up the final details and delivered the wedding for me. She did a wonderful job! She even decorated her first wedding cake with flowers.

They brought Talia by ambulance from the little clinic where she was to the Children's Hospital in Jackson, Mississippi. On the way to Jackson I gave the Doctor via phone permission to perform surgery. When we arrived the nurse showed us up to the family waiting room where Talia's entourage from camp awaited. It was quite a group. Family, friends and ministers. It really matters in a time like that to know that so many people love you and care about what happens to you.

Finally a nurse peeked in and informed us Talia was in recovery and could have one visitor. Byron and I rushed to the door. You know who got to go. Me. Sorry Byron. I leaned over to a snoring Talia. She opened her eyes slightly and I said, "Talia, It's me Mommy. Can you see me? Can you see me Baby? Talia, Can you see me?" Talia gave a painful grimace and said, "For the third time Mommy. I can see you!" I knew Talia would be just fine.

She's up and about now, but enjoyed her metal bowl and wooden spoon as long as she could. I gave them to her to bang when she needed me. She made good use of it.

Taste Test

The Dr. Carolyn yellow heirloom tomato fared much better in my garden with the bugs. Maybe the light yellow almost white color fooled the stinkbugs into thinking they weren't ripe and they moved on to my brightly colored red tomatoes. It tastes very mild and the flesh is firm. Good, but not my favorite. Unfortunately, since it did so well.
This is my long awaited Purple Cherokee tomato. It is a dark smokey red color. Very sweet, juicy and yummy. Really worth the wait. The worms like them as well! Not so much stink bug damage.

The Italian Marzano paste tomato. You can see the stink bug damage on the side. I had a huge problem with end rot with these. I need to find out why these tomatoes had that problem and none of the other tomatoes did. I would think the others would have the same problem if it were a soil issue. Any ideas? It is has a nice flavor, but is definitely more acidic than the slicing tomatoes. Would these be good for drying? Hmmmm

This is the inside of the Cherokee purple tomato. See how fleshy and juicy it is? This is my favorite tasting tomato so far.

The bottom is the inside of the Dr. Carolyn. It is about the size of a small bouncy ball. It's really a pretty tomato and looks great mixed with red tomatoes in a salad or on a plate.


JeanSkirtGirl said...

Dear sister kristi I want to say you are a great person and the work u do the way u live a great holy life. And god has blesd u with a great family and hart. I am so glad my little sweet hart feeling much butter I hear she back to her self little jumping bean Hehe! Don't tell her I said that LoL =) anyway's I hope u keep up the good work with your graden and being a sweet hart love carmencita xoxo for u all =)

Mwcraft said...


It is great to hear your daughter is okay! God is Good!
I also planted Cherokee Purple tomatoes and are awaiting a taste test, for the sounds of it I will not be disappointed!
Thanks! Michelle Craft

Tipper said...

Kristi-so glad and thankful your little girl is o.k. and making a speedy recovery too.

This is the first year I've grown any heirloom tomatoes-so far they're looking great-but none of mine are ripe enough to pick yet. I'm anxious to find out how they stand up to the bugs and blight.

Harry said...

Was this camp by chance Camp of the Rising Son at French Camp?

Anonymous said...

Talia loved camp. I hope they move it closer next year, because I can guarantee she will want to go again, appendicitis or not! We were surprised that Talia got sick; because just a few hours earlier she played a trick on the other campers by standing on her bed in the dark and throwing down "poppers" (little paper wrapped firecrackers that go off when you throw them.)They POP and Spark so the others girls were squealing and giggling at her daring. The camp Matron had to act suitably shocked and perturbed!

I was with her the whole time and she was a little trooper. After the head camp leader, Bro. Vanderford prayed for her, her anxiety just left her. She relaxed and went to sleep until they got us to Jackson on the ambulance. She woke up just a little while before they rushed her off the surgery and about 30 minutes later she was "almost" good as new! She was soon surrounded by gifts and good wishes! Aunt Terri

Kristi said...

Hi Harry,

No, it was camp Kumbaya. It was rented by our church organization. Although I visited French Camp when I biked the Nachez Trace. If that's the one you are refering to.


Thanks for being there!!!!