The food we don't refuse

In the midst of canning tomato juice...

I wasn't planning to spend this evening/night canning tomatoes. In fact, I had filled every single one of my empty canning jars and thought I was finished doing tomatoes for the year!

Late this morning, our neighbor called and asked me if I could use some tomatoes. I had no idea how many she had for me -- just that they were "getting pretty ripe". I said I'd take them, and next thing I knew, I had about 3/4 bushel of tomatoes on my back doorstep!

At first glance, I wondered if I had just accepted 3/4 bushel of composting material (i.e. rotten tomatoes!) but there was actually a lot of good ones in there and they did indeed need to be used immediately.

My mom was already headed our way this evening and she dropped off some quart canning jars. I'm still working on canning the last of the 16 quarts of tomato juice I made!

One of the things I learned from my parents' example was not to waste. When God said that He would provide all of our needs, He didn't say that it would be done in the way we wanted, at the time that we wanted. Being willing to work hard and sacrifice leisure time in order to accept His blessings is something I still work on being disciplined about.

Did I need the extra tomatoes right now? No, I didn't. But what if next year's need was being supplied right now -- and I refused it? How can we throw away food today and yet expect tomorrow's needs to be supplied?


I couldn't agree with you more.

Often it seems that when I am faithful with those things along the way, that God gives me more.

I've been given things that some would think needed to be thrown out but I made the best and rather chose to be grateful--and God always gave more! It bothers me to waste. I feel ungrateful to the Lord when I am wasteful. And I just believe that God always blesses faithfulness, in different ways.

EX: Several of my (younger)kids would balk at tomatoes prior to this season. But I was given a sack full and made salsa while the kids watched. After eating it and liking it, they've been more agreeable about eating a slice of tomato here and there. What a blessing! 2fold! Salsa and kids who'll eat their maters! ;-)

Your juice looks great!

I had received some free goodies and I needed to dice it up and package it up and was not in the mood for it.I wanted a day to sit and relax since I haven't had one in a long time.I did complain and later that night I said almost the same thing you did below.I had to read what you typed to my husband this morning.I liked reading that this morning.I felt so bad for saying it and it is nice to know I am not the only one that would think that.I felt bad and so blessed for recieving these things.

"One of the things I learned from my parents' example was not to waste. When God said that He would provide all of our needs, He didn't say that it would be done in the way we wanted, at the time that we wanted. Being willing to work hard and sacrifice leisure time in order to accept His blessings is something I still work on being disciplined about."

I did not want to sound ungreatful for the things we recieved.After reading I thought it had sounded bad.I am very thankful for what we recieve and am very greatful for it.Times get tough in the winter and it really does help.I just get a little burnt out by the end of summer with putting it all up.

Dear Tammy,

My uncle's garden had been very fruitful this year! He blessed me last week with a huge box of roma tomatoes. I was able to can 22 quarts! PTL! I am so thankful for how God has supplied!
Ruth, PA

I can relate! This year my relatives have been giving me all kinds of different vegetables to put away...and just this last week, I've been getting enough okra from my in-laws to feed an army!

I actually have been getting my kids to help me cut veggies up and freeze them.

It is a lot of effort but I know it will be worth it in the long run and I really do appreciate all of the food. Although I don't really enjoy the work part, I love the satisfaction once the job is done. lol

I LOVE your pictures of the tomatoes canned....they are so bright and beautiful. You will definitely be enjoying them this winter!

Free food always nice. You are nice to have people to give you things. I stated a small garden late, even after you. We are starting to see some tomatoes. I have nevered canned ever. I would love to learn and get the supplies to start. Maybe next year.

You must be looking in the windows of our farm....
I do not want to can anymore tonight and this post is just what the Lord has supplied. An attitude change. Thank you. Thank you for the reminder to be faithful in doing my part. Blessings, Tammy.

I struggle with this sometimes. Growing up my mother worked all the time we never canned anything or put anything by. For me to can, it is such a struggle. I have to read and re read everytime. Freezing is easier but canning would not require refrigeration. I have also been using our dehydrator more. I had a neighbor give me 2 buckets of peaches. I could not process them fast enough. I did lose some but have about 30 cups frozen in the freezer. I wanted to can them but ran out of time.. Thanks for the inspiration. We still have apples on the trees that aren't quite ready yet. I am hoping to make applesuace.

I had some tomatoes sitting on my counter. Thanks for the reminder not to let them go to waste! I made a batch of salsa tonight and kept a couple for slicing! I got 3 pints and 4 half pints. I kept thinking I didn't have enough to do anything with and just let them sit there. I opened up a quart of tomatoes that I had canned from last year and added them in with what I had from this year and made the salsa from that.

I know just what you mean about the timming. I was given about 7 gallons of delicious pears. Tonite my hubby juiced them with the Jack LaLane juicer and I began making pear honey. I will make two double batches.

Then a lady from church said please come pick some apples. When we got there the trees, four of them were loaded and she said she didnt want any more. She has put up applesauce, apple jelly, apple pie filling and she is done. So we picked three not too large containers. We will come back tomorrow and pick more. I will get her recipe for apple pie filling.

It does get tiring to do the canning but the satisfaction is so great. Plus free food is very hard to say no to, especially when you think that one of these days you may wish you had that food.

I am so glad that you younger women are taking care of your families and learning these skills and being good stewards of your family money.

God bless you all.

You are so right. I think alot of people miss this point. God does always provide for us! Sometimes people don`t stop and think in times of plenty to save for tough times ahead. The illustration in Proverbs about the ant is a good example of the way we all need to be:)Thanks so much for the great post! Blessings, Toni

Hi Tammy,

What a great reminder for us to not be wasteful! If you don't mind, I would like to link to this post and share my personal experiences in this area on my blog. It certainly is difficult sometimes to remember that God does provide, but now exactly how we think he should.

Take Care,



Here is that link in case anyone's interested.

Take Care,


I talked to my dad last week. My cousin is in Zambia with the Peace Corps and her mom and my mom went to visit her. Just after Mom left, suddenly everything in my parents' garden was ripe. So my dad canned tomatoes and made grape jam and pickled carrots and pickled beets and I'm not sure what else. It made my mouth water. So much more appealing than canned goods from the store.

I agree!
It IS so much work. But it is also worth it. I see God's provision every single day, & canning from our garden is part of that provision. I am very thankful for His providing for us.
And I'm thankful for you too! You gave me 2 more tomato recipes! I canned your homemade tomato soup & pizza sauce last weekend.
This was our 4th pickin' of tomatoes, & it totaled 128 pounds! I don't usually weigh them, but I did this time so I could convert your recipe. I'm actually not sure how many pounds went into the soup & how many went into the sauce. LOL It turned out to be 26 quarts of soup, so if I remember right, I doubled & a half your recipe.
Thanks again for your recipes, & for giving all the glory to our Provider, the LORD God Almighty.
P.S. I just blogged about your soup. Come see it if you'd like. I linked back to you. Here it is:

This was a very good post and a great reminder to be thankful! Sometimes, like with tomatoes, I'll just blanch and freeze them until I have a whole bunch to can at once. This helps give me some extra time or helps keep food when I'm in a pinch (like not enough canning jars!)

Thanks Tammy!

I have never done any canning and although it's past the season i would like to learn a couple of things about canning tomatoes before next season.
Is it possible to can tomatoes using xylitol as a preservative. I know that it kills bacteria but I'm not sure of it's affect on tomatoes. I can eat no sugar not even fruit sugar but with tomatoes, i can have a bit so i thought maybe next summer, i would like to try canning tomatoes.
any info would be helpful.
thanks, jane

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