Wednesday, August 31, 2011

You say Tomato...

What do you do when this is sitting on your counter?
You get out your jars and start CANNING!!!

Tomatoes are one of my favorite things to can.  They are easy and taste SO good.  I love having them for soups, spaghetti sauce, and tomato juice.  For those of you who may be new to canning tomatoes, here is a simple tutorial.  I promise they are easy--even my husband has done a couple of batches for me.  

**Remember, always start out with clean jars and tomatoes.  
Here we go:
#1:  Fill a big pot just less than half full with water.  Bring to boil.  Put in tomatoes and let cook for a few minutes.  They can be taken out once a few of them have started cracking.  It doesn't need to be brought to a full boil.  Place tomatoes into a shallow pan (such as cookie sheet or cake pan) to cool.  They need to cool for about 15 minutes.  Be careful--they get really hot!

#2 & #3:  Using a canning funnel begin filling your jars.  Peel the tomatoes.  They will peel really easily.  I just cut out the center core and then peel the skin with my fingers.  Make sure you do this over the jar so any juice will fall into the jar.  Cut the tomato into quarters (or more if they are big, less if they are small) and drop into the jar.  Fill the jar up, only leaving about 1/2 inch at the top.

Add 1/2 tsp. of citric acid and 1 tsp. salt to each Quart jar.  Wipe the rims of the jars to assure they are clean.

#4:  Boil your lids.  Place on jars, screw on caps.  

#5:  Place jars into water-bath canner.  **As a note, you can start heating water in the canner while you are filling your jars.  Lower the jars into the water.  They need to be completely covered with water.  Put on canner lid.  Bring water to a good rolling boil.  This will take awhile.  Once the water is boiling, set the timer for 45 minutes.  This really takes longer than the prep time.  Once the time is up, take them out of the canner and wait to hear the beautiful sound of the lids sealing (sounds like a little pop).  Make sure you don't touch the lids and push in the seal.

And here is what you end up with:
I'm up to 35 quarts.  I think salsa may be next!  Gotta love fresh garden veggies!

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