It’s the week of the fair and I hope most of you are enjoying this once-a-year event. Don’t forget to check out the demonstrations in the Grange Rotunda. Today we have a full day starting with:

10:30 a.m. —  Bobbie Randall talking about Diabetes Basics or Things you may have forgotten

11:30 a.m. — Kate Shumaker sharing Homemade Cleaning Supplies

12:30 p.m. — Deb Kitko will be talking about researching family history tools and techniques

2 p.m. — Randall will repeat her session on Diabetes

3 p.m. — Kate Shumaker and Sara Meeks will be sharing tips and recipesusing a multiport cooker

5 p.m. — Our friends from Ashland County Senior Center will be demonstrating chair caning.

On Wednesday we begin at 10:30 a.m. with our friends from Wayne County Convention and Visitors Bureau — The Best Kept Secrets in Wayne County; at 11:30 a.m., Shoshanah Inwood from OARDC will be talking about Choosing Health Insurance That’s Right for You. At 1 p.m., the Tree City Quilters will be sharing new techniques and gadgets to use in quilting; and to end the day we have Vanessa Cassidy and Jeremy Sigler from AAA talking about planning trips and travel safety using a recent trip to Alaska as an example.

On Thursday at 10:30 a.m. the Master Gardeners from OARDC will join us to answer your gardening questions and share answers to questions they received in our office this summer. At 11:30 a.m. we have staff from OSU main campus coming to share Mix it up and Shop Smart to learn the benefits of healthy and cost-effective shopping. At 12:30 p.m. Sara Meeks and I will be talking about soups and stews along with the advantages of using a slow cooker and multicooker. Then to end our demonstrations this year, we will have a session at 2 p.m. on planting Fall Bulbs for Spring Blooms with Tom White, a Master Gardener Volunteer

I hope you can come and join us at the fair!

This week I’ve also received many questions on canning tomatoes, so following are a few question/answer responses for your information. Remember to use only disease free, fresh fruit. Do not can tomatoes from dead or frost killed vines. All types of tomatoes can be processed — green, yellow, orange or red and for best results process the tomatoes within 2 to 3 hours of harvesting.

• Do all tomatoes need to be acidified? Yes — all tomatoes and tomato juice need to have additional acid to ensure their safety. You may use lemon juice, citric acid or vinegar to do this. Check out our OHIOLINE.osu.edu (food, then food preservation) to find the canning tomato fact sheet that will give you the amounts for each.

• May I can whole cherry or grape tomatoes? It is not advised by USDA, but they may be frozen for use in soups and stews this winter.

• How many pounds of tomatoes does it take to make 7 quarts of juice? About 23 pounds of tomatoes are needed per canner load of 7 quarts; 14 pounds will yield 9 pints. If you are buying or picking a bushel of tomatoes it should yield about 15-18 quarts of juice. Remember to add acid to your juice as well.

• Do I have to add salt? The use of salt is optional in all canned tomato products. Salt can be used for flavor or color protection of the product.

• Can I process using my grandmother’s spaghetti sauce recipe? If you really want a specific recipe, then freeze it. Only tested, approved recipes should be used to can low acid vegetables and meats. Besides Ohioline check out the National Center For Home Food Preservation website at the University of Georgia for a great library of tested recipes. It is really important not to alter the tested recipes as it will change the ph. value and thus the processing times.

If you have other food preservation questions, please call 330-264-8722 or e-mail me at hill.14@osu.edu.

Melinda Hill is an OSU Extension Family & Consumer Sciences Educator and may be reached at 330-264-8722.