Saturday, September 11, 2010

Canning Tomatoes




Summer is the time to can tomatoes, winter the time to savor the smells and tastes of our bounty. Opening up a jar of canned tomatoes always bring to mind the title of my friend Andrea Chessman's book Summer In A Jar. And indeed it is. It is like tumbling back into those hot and humid days of summer. The days of butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees. When what was for dinner meant a trip to the garden. But now is the time for making sure we have enough put by to get us through the long winter. Canning is a wonderful summer activity. We put up enough whole tomatoes and puree so that we never have to by any store bought tomatoes. Let us just eat fresh field grown tomatoes when they are in season, when the hot days of summer are still with us, that way during the winter months we can be content to go to the pantry when we crave tomatoes and not to the store!
Here's how we can whole tomatoes.

We start with 25 to 30 pounds of plum tomatoes




The tomatoes are blanched for 1 minute 45 seconds so we can remove their skins.





Then they are put into cold water to cool them down, and to make them easier to handle.


As they are peeled they are put in a pot large enough to hold them all.


The pot of peeled tomatoes is heated,





put into sterilized jars









A lid and ring are put on and hand tightened





And put into a boiling water bath for 25 minutes






25 Pounds of tomatoes will yield about 7 quarts .



And, into the pantry they go.











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