Canning T’s and Baking Z’s (Tomatoes and Zucchini)

As we start and end the day with cooler temperatures, the garden’s bounty is dwindling also.  I’m guessing you still have lots of zucchini and many tomatoes if you are like many of the callers I hear from on a daily basis.  Tomatoes are the most frequently home canned product in the United States.  If this is your practice, here are a couple of tips to make your job easier.
*Remember to select only disease free, preferable vine-ripened, firm fruit.  Do not can tomatoes from dead or frost killed vines.
*Treat all colors alike, red, green, and yellow, be sure to add the acid (vinegar, lemon juice or citric acid) to all recipes, regardless of whether you are using the water bath or pressure canner. Use of a pressure canner will result in higher quality and more nutritious canned tomato products.
*Be sure you are using a current, tested recipe. For a great resource check out The National Center for Home Food Preservation.
*For best results process tomatoes within 2-3 hours after harvest or purchasing.
*Remember that aluminum pans and cooking utensils will pit and become discolored when used to prepare tomatoes.  Using aluminum also makes the cooked tomatoes more bitter and fades the color.
Another abundant vegetable is the wonderful green zucchini.  They just seem to multiply and people are always looking for a new way to use them.  You may keep them in the refrigerator for about 1 week, but fresh is always best.  Here’s a biscuit recipe that’s really almost like a shortbread that’s really tasty.

Zucchini Biscuits

From Asparagus to Zucchini cookbook

From Asparagus to Zucchini cookbook

(source: From Asparagus to Zucchini: A Guide to Cooking Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce, Madison Area CSA Coalition)

½ cup margarine, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 T. orange or lemon juice (marmalade works well also)
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 T.baking powder
½ t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. salt
1 ½ cups shredded zuccnini
½ cups chopped pecans
1 T. grated orange zest
Powered sugar

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 2 baking sheets.  In a medium bowl, beat margarine until fluffy.  Beat in sugar, eggs, and orange juice.   In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder, spices and salt, stir into wet mixture.  Stir in zucchini, pecans and orange zest.  Drop dough by the teaspoons onto the cookie sheets.  Bake until bisuits begin to brown at edges, about 10 minutes.  Cool on wire racks.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.

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