One of the many things I love about our new location here in Colorado is the ability to have a garden.

Gardening in Houston was always a challenge. Not because things didn’t grow in the tropical atmosphere. Quite the opposite. Things grew well, especially weeds.

The problem was it got too hot too quickly to be out tending the garden. Here, we can go out whenever we want and pleasant weather greets.

And not too many bugs here, either. Houston mosquitoes loved me. Colorado mosquitoes haven’t found me…yet.

This year between the fire and all the construction underway, our efforts were limited.

Our evacuation killed most of our hanging baskets and planted flowers. We couldn’t water any of them. The mountains of dirt from the excavation buried the new peonies we planted.

Not complaining, just stating facts.

We did put out two tomato plants early in the spring, which survived.

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????What I failed to realize was that, since we live on the shady mountainside, I’d need a greenhouse to get the tomatoes to turn red!

Both plants are loaded with buds and tomatoes that are never going to turn red. This seemed such a waste.

???????????????????????????????We fried a few and then Jerry remembered we’d dilled green tomatoes at the end of the growing season when we lived in West Virginia.

I dug around in my cookbooks and found the recipe in my 1965 edition of Better Homes and Gardens new CookBook. That was easy.???????????????????????????????Finding the necessary ingredients wasn’t. Local farmers’ markets didn’t have fresh dill, and our local market didn’t either. We finally found fresh dill in the supermarket forty-seven miles away.

Once the ingredients were on hand, I was ready to start the canning process.


I washed the tomatoes. The dishwasher washed the canning jars. ???????????????????????????????

Ironic that after years of collecting jars, I had to buy new ones. I’d given all my jars to Chicken Wrangler Sara when we downsized.

With the jars clean and heated, I prepared the liquid.

???????????????????????????????When it boiled, I stuffed the jars with green tomatoes, fresh dill, fresh garlic, and a stalk of celery.

I left out the hot pepper. I don’t like HOT peppered stuff.

Minutes later, I had three beautiful quart jars which will be ready to eat in a month to enjoy with our meals. ???????????????????????????????

Whole process took less than an hour and reminded me how much I love to can and make jams and preserves. I’m thinking I’ll start doing more.

That is, when I’m not writing!

YOUR TURN: What about you ever done in home canning?