The canning bug has bitten. I feel like between the sewing, baking and canning I really do belong out here on the prairie (albeit 100 years ago).
A recent weekend yielded peach chutney, tomato jam, and 8 lbs. of tomatoes "put up" in the freezer. I also canned 3 pints of peaches in a lovely honey water recipe I found online. I am going to link to the recipes as I only very slightly modified the chutney one. (I didn't have allspice or mustard seed, so I omitted the allspice and put in ground mustard - about 1 1/2 T. I didn't put in quite as much brown sugar and only used about 2 1/2 cups vinegar and 1/2 cup water and no pickling spices.)
For the tomatoes I got some fancy Ball Brand freezer jars from Farm and Fleet - a BARGAIN!, cooked down the tomatoes a bit, and filled 4 jars (including what I spilled, darn it…) I got 10# of canning tomatoes for $10 from the lovely Amish tomato ladies at the Farmers Market in Urbana on Saturday. They were in wonderful condition and we ate several. I have gotten "canning" tomatoes before that were pretty rough looking. I am planning to go back this Saturday and get 20# as I have beautiful visions of making chili and spaghetti sauce this winter with delicious summer tomatoes. I think I will make some more tomato jam in 1/2 pint jars as well. I used 4 oz. jars this time which are actually quite tiny in retrospect. My mom LOVES tomato jam and these days we can only find it at Curtis Orchards which is only open from the end of July through December.
I also made bread salad (it has a fancy Italian name which I am sure Lisa knows!) which is one of my favorite things. I love mushy bread, always get my Italian Beef in Chicago "dipped".
1/2 baguette - mine was nice and stale so much so that I could only crush it. That was fun! If your isn't so stale, toast it slowly in the oven until hard then coarsely chop
2 medium to large fresh tomatoes skinned and chopped - I do this over the bowl so I don't lose any juice (I will use 3 next time.)
1/2 sweet onion minced
1-2 T lemon juice
1-2 T good quality olive oil
freshly ground pepper
Mix up the dressing and let sit while you are peeling and chopping the tomatoes. Mix everything together and let the bread soak up the juices. Yum. I love this the next day but you REALLY have to like mushy bread!
As I said above, next time I will use even more tomatoes. You could also add sun dried tomatoes, or do this with halved cherry or grape tomatoes. Other additions that would be nice are fresh mozzarella, feta, pitted black olives, capers, or anchovies.