Monday, August 23, 2010

jackpot

The Stannard Farm stand is just down the road from Cold Antler and I love it. It's a small farm in south Cambridge that produces meat, eggs, and vegetables. The stand sells all their food and also carries local cheeses and milk. It's kind of like having a farm-fresh mini mart a bike ride away (exactly 1.8 miles from my front door). The clientele up here in Jackson isn't interested in five dollar cartons of milk or over-priced organics, so the food is priced to move for the locals. This crate of slightly over-ripe/bruised tomatoes was $5. I almost fainted when I saw the sign. Jackpot.

The woman at the counter said when the fruit goes slightly past its prime it's perfectly fine for sauces and canning, but not for commercial sales so they box them and sell them to canners. I told her I could make a pot of sauce and freeze it tonight, to hell with canning on the fly. (My canning pot is used for chicken scalding...so I need to get a new canner before I start preserving this fall.) She smiled at the ambition, but seemed to think all the people snatching up the five dollar cartons were crazy. She could think whatever she wanted. A twenty-pound box of locally grown tomatoes for a Lincoln was worth rolled eyes. And I bet if you asked around your local farm stands and growers, they'd sell you their over-ripes for a song as well. Worth a phone call anyway and that homemade sauce defrosted and poured thickly over pasta is going to taste just as amazing when the first snow falls. Think ahead a little and savor in advance. That's what I say.

20 Comments:

Blogger Tracy said...

Nice score - but be careful if you can with them... once tomatoes become over-ripe, their acidity levels go down.

August 23, 2010 at 4:17 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

freezing!

August 23, 2010 at 4:18 PM  
Blogger Tracy said...

The pricing is nice, though. The Farmers Market where I'm at in Michigan wanted $5.50 for 1 pint of blueberries! The grocery store has Michigan blueberries for half that...

August 23, 2010 at 4:19 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

yeah, they were probably hand-picked, you're paying for the labor/freshness. But I hear you. I bet there are cheaper deals in your area for you-pick operations.

August 23, 2010 at 4:22 PM  
Blogger Tracy said...

We actually planted 5 blueberry bushes at our home last year, and I did get about 12 blueberries (from the only plant that didn't get eaten down to the nub by rabbits). Delicious, but I can't wait till the plants get bigger! Patience, I tell myself, patience...

August 23, 2010 at 4:27 PM  
Blogger Flartus said...

What!?? And you only bought one box?? (j/k, I know there's only one of you!)

August 23, 2010 at 4:27 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

just one box left! but they said there would be more!

August 23, 2010 at 4:29 PM  
Blogger doglady said...

Such a deal. Your house will smell so good tonight. I've made two batches of sauce from mine. When it said to run the cooked sauce through the food mill I chose the Cuisanart. Works like a charm and you get all the nutrients from the skins. You'd never know. Do you have a Food Saver. Worth every penny.

August 23, 2010 at 5:29 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

We do that sort of thing all the time - frankly, I never say no to anything I can preserve! Thanks for the reminder, though. Our farmers market will wrap up for the season pretty soon, so I should really be scouting for those kinds of deals before it's too late!

August 23, 2010 at 5:42 PM  
Blogger pleintexasgirl said...

Y'all are so lucky, 112 heat indexes down here have ruined everything except okra!

August 23, 2010 at 6:51 PM  
Blogger Shirley said...

ENVY!!!! Our tomatoes are still green, we had a cold wet spring. I am making some peach salsa at the moment though.

August 23, 2010 at 7:14 PM  
Blogger Margaret said...

Careful, I scorched the last batch I tried cooking down. I canned it anyway and will put it in Chili. If anyone complains I will just tell them it is the "smoked" flavor

August 23, 2010 at 7:46 PM  
Blogger John said...

Yay! Our market dealers do the same here as well. Last time we went up right as the market was closing down for the day, a local farmer was doubling radishes and giving crates of turnips away. Not that I needed or would even know what to do with that many turnips but definitely not something you would be allowed to do or see at a grocery store.

August 23, 2010 at 8:26 PM  
Blogger daisy said...

Such a deal! Too hot here to get tomatoes, but I'll be growin' my own soon enough! Mmmmmmmm, homemade gravy, can't wait! daisy

August 23, 2010 at 9:06 PM  
OpenID chickadeeworkshop said...

doglady, I'm going for the food processor next time, too. Makes sense to me, though I'd like to be rid of the seeds. And, yes, the freezer is the way to go if you have room in yours. It took me all afternoon to cook mine down after the food mill and I had no energy left for canning.

Congrats on the tomato score, Jenna!

August 23, 2010 at 9:53 PM  
Blogger Erika said...

Fantastic! They come to our market too. Nice people.
I'm getting some seconds when I work the market Wednesday. I'm going to make some roasted tomato soup and some salsa too.

We were giving away seconds to CSA members on Saturday because there were just so many. The amount of tomatoes this year is just bonkers.

August 23, 2010 at 10:14 PM  
Blogger Moose Nuggets said...

Aww... Here in AK, the bumper crop is potatoes. There's a local farmer who sells them for 8 cents a pound by the end of fall.

Out of curiosity- why do you need a new canner?? I have a couple pots that serve as dual purpose, and totally planned on scalding chickens in my waterbath canner.
They are washable, ya know. ;)
If you don't do Bleach (we don't) you can give it a good wash, then spray generously with vinegar and peroxide, then rinse again.
Um... I've even given my soap making pot a good (GOOD) scrub then used it for food prep when we needed an extra pot at holidays. No one has croaked from that yet either.

Unless you RUINED your canner, it should be fine??
If anyone has a reason why not, I'd love to know it- we were planning on using ours to scald chickens- then resume our salsa canning. (gulp!)

August 24, 2010 at 12:53 AM  
Blogger Maggie in Tally said...

My ex & I bought 40 lbs of canning 'maters at the nearby Thomasville GA farmer's mkt & made a buncha sauce. Would have gone a lot quicker had the ex LISTENED to me when I said we should scald, yank off the peels & remove the seeds/gel before cooking 'em down, but noooooo. Typical doggone man. Prolly explains why he's my ex: I'm a know-it-all & he's stubborn.

August 24, 2010 at 9:22 AM  
OpenID safirasilv said...

$5.00?

I need to visit my mom in the Finger Lakes. Around here, a half-bushel of bruised tomatoes is $12 and we think it's a bargain.

August 24, 2010 at 7:53 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Check out a digital electric pressure cooker for your pasta

August 27, 2010 at 1:11 AM  

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