Canning tomatoes- scary!

Dear Reader-

I’m an active pickler, but I haven’t delved into a lot of other canning. They scare me! Ptomaine this, botulism that, who wants to give their friends and family food poisoning?!

But I make a lot of spaghetti sauce, and making it with my own canned tomatoes is an inviting idea. So, I attempt one lowly jar of tomatoes in my canning bath with a batch of pickles.

The recipe is easy. Peel the tomatoes and put them in the jar with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice to balance out acidity and kill botulism as it matures. Great, my #1 worry come to pass. I put the jar into the canning bath and set the timer for a long 85 minute processing time. Thirty minutes in I yell out a string of expletives, realizing I forgot the death-averting lemon juice. Failure.


It cools on the counter, waiting to be tossed. I’m so mad at this point I get in the car, drive to the fruit stand, and buy more tomatoes because now I have something to prove. Sterlizing more jars, remembering the wretched lemon, I cook on, for 85 long, hot minutes.



My stove was working overtime. It was a lot of work for two prideful jars of darned tomatoes!


Not my best pickling day. But I will forge on!


AS The Curl Turns


V For Victory! My Very Own Victory Garden Sign

Dear Reader-

Since so many things were rationed during World War 2, Americans planted “Victory Gardens” as an easier food source, and as a way to support the war effort on the homefront. By the end of the war it was estimated that 20 million gardens had been planted. These gardens were a huge source of positive propaganda-


I just love this sign, so I used it for my inspiration. In the spirit of Make Do And Mend, I decided to make my own sign for our victory garden, using only what we had here at the house. Hubs had a perfect sized piece of plywood that he donated to the cause.

It was filthy.


It needed to be sanded because it was a bit bristly.


I used the circular sander first for the top and bottom, but used a hand sander for the sides.


Then it needed to be primed.


I freehand stenciled part of the design onto the painted surface, but that didn’t really work out…….I had to paint over it.


I stenciled the V and then used blue painters tape, there was no way I was taking a chance free-handing that!


It took several coats of paint to make the colors opaque, but it was worth it! I used a clear spray paint shellac to protect it from the elements.

It dried with our gnome.


We found a broom handle that we had saved (hoarders!) and used it as a stake. I attached a wall mounted broomholder clamp thingy (technical!) to the back of the sign to attach the stake. It slid a little so there is also a high tech rubber band in there as you can see. I learned this handy dandy trick when my shower caddy slid down the shower head without a rubber stopper.


My victory garden is complete!


Kindest Regards,

Erin Lopez, of As The Curl Turns