Rainy days and Sundays always get me down when I can not garden!

Monday, October 19, 2015


Tomato plants do not like it when the temperatures start to drop below 55 degrees. (They like it even less if there is a frost).  The ideal growing temperatures for tomatoes are between 60 and 90 degrees.  When temperature drops below 60 or rise above 90, the vines start to suffer from stress.  This causes the blossoms to drop off (blossom drop) with out developing into fruit.  
Tomatoes are a subtropical plant.  Even a light frost can damage or kill the vines.  When temperatures drop near freezing, condensation forms on the plants, resulting in frost bite. In addition, the fruit on the plants may be damaged as well.  

My cherry tomatoes were prolific this year!

I decided to pickle them.

Sanitizing the lids......

....and the jars.

Fresh Dill from the garden.

Also, jalapeno's and garlic (from the garden), along with pickling vinegar and salt, mustard seed, and peppercorns for the brine.

Fill clean sterile jars and add the brine, leaving 1/2 inch  of head space.   Check for air bubbles and wipe off  the rims.  Center lids on jars and tighten , using the "3 finger" tightening method.  

Place the jars in the water bath, making sure the jars are not touching and there is 1-2 inches of water covering the tops.  Bring to a boil and process according to instructions (I did 15 minutes).

After the appropriate amount of time, remove the jars from the bath and place on a towel (listen for the pop).  Allow the jars to "rest" for 12-24 hours, after which, you can check the seals.  Wait a week before eating, giving the flavor a chance to settle.   Label and store remaining jars in a cool, dark place (like the basement) for up to a year.  

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