Labor Day Jam Session

I labored quite a bit on Labor Day this year.

I woke up early for some coffee and swapping. I baked a peach cobbler and added it to a box that contained a basket of tomatillos, two jars of jam, and some cut flowers. Then I headed over to my friend Marcella’s house for a good old fashioned food swap.

I traded the goodies listed above for a bunch of tomatoes (including a whole peck of paste tomatoes!), two heads of cabbage, and some horseradish root.

ImageI definitely got the better end of this swap! What a bounty!

After some errand running I headed home for a marathon day of canning.

I started with a Spicy Tomato Spread. This is one of my all-time favorites.


5lbs. of Brunty Farms tomatoes, lime juice & zest, red pepper flakes, lots of fresh ginger, and some of Karen’s honey.

I brought it to a boil and then reduced it to a simmer. It was on the stove for about 3 hours – it takes a long time for tomatoes to get jammy.

ImageThis stuff is soooooo good. I love it in the middle of a grilled cheese and my very favorite way to enjoy it is over some Lucky Penny chevre with crackers. It is sweet and spicy. Really delicious. I have another 5lbs. of tomatoes on standby so I’ll do another batch of this in the next day or two.

Since this jam takes so long I also managed to get in a batch of V10 tomato juice. I used Marcella’s tomatoes for this one.

Here is the start of my V10.

ImageTomatoes, peppers, onions, shallots, horseradish root, carrots, celery, cilantro, black peppercorns.  I pressure canned 8 pints of V10.

For the soup I used my tried & true oven roasting method.

ImageMarcella’s tomatoes, whole garlic cloves, and fresh herbs (a sprig of rosemary, some thyme, oregano, parsley) all tossed with olive oil and roasted.

It went through the food mill and into my stock pot. I seasoned it with some salt and pepper and some red pepper flakes. I also added two pints of my homemade (pressure canned last winter) veal stock. I brought it to a boil and then I pressure canned 3 quarts and 4 pints of soup.

The final project of the day was a White Peach and Red Raspberry Jam.

I picked up a peck of white peaches from my friends at Huffman last Thursday at the Highland Square Farmers’ Market. I blanched and peeled them Sunday. 8 lbs. went into the freezer and 3 lbs. were mixed with some Black Dog Acres honey and put into the fridge to await a future jam session.

Image The honeyed peaches were mixed up with a 1 1/2 lbs. of red raspberries (also Huffman and frozen last month) and some lemon juice and then jammed.

As it was nearing the end I sampled and realized it was a bit tart. But instead of adding a touch more honey I reached for the sugar bowl (Actually it’s more of a tub. I buy sugar in 15lb bags and keep it in a big Rubbermaid tub).

Oops! Mind you it was about 8pm by now and I’d been canning since noon. It was an accident so it’s not a true spread – the addition of sugar made it a jam.

It’s delicious though. And both Spicy Tomato Spread and White Peach and Red Raspberry Jam will be available this Saturday at the market.

About Barton Farms and Gardens

My husband and I are bringing an old family farm back to life while simultaneously working full-time jobs and raising two kids. It's a gas!
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