|Government posters promoting home canning|
Victory gardens were great ways to supplement food rationing during World War II and the gardens weren’t limited to rural areas only. In cities, allotments of public land were often divvied up to those who did not live in houses that already had a garden, so everyone could benefit from fresh fruits and vegetables. Even rooftops were converted into gardens.
But what did you do when you found yourself with more tomatoes that you knew what to do with, and your neighbors had their own payload, so you couldn’t give them away? The answer was as far away as the nearest Mason jar.
Home canning was very popular during the war (in fact, it was before and after the war and still is, judging by the amount of canning equipment I see in the stores in my neighborhood.) Articles in magazines and pamphlets published by the government and colleges were always available to teach the safe way to home can. In 1942, 64% of women were canned food for their family. This increased to 75% in 1943 and grew exponentially until the end of the war.
|Bread and Butter Pickles, Tomatoes|
There is nothing quite like opening one of these jars on a cold, cold January day, when summer seems like it will never come again, to really appreciate the concept of preserving - they smell and taste exactly like they did in August.
This is my absolutely favorite recipe for the canned tomatoes, though you can also do it with fresh ones now.
6 large rip tomatoes, peeled
¼ cup thinly sliced scallions (including some of the green parts)
¼ cup minced fresh parsley
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, or ½ tsp dried thyme
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup vegetable oil
¼ cup red or white wine vinegar
1- Cut the tomatoes into think slices and put them on a shallow plate.
2- In a small bowl, combine the scallions, parsley, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Sprinkle the mixture over the tomatoes.
3- In a jar, mix together the oil and vinegar and pour over the tomatoes. Cover and refrigerate for several hours, or overnight, spooning the dressing over the tomatoes from time to time.
4- Drain off the dressing just before serving
Makes 6 servings
From: Mary Emmerling’s American Country Cooking: Recipes and menus from Family and Friends Across America.
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