Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Summer's Bounty

On Sunday afternoon, I was given a case of farmer's market tomatoes.  As much as I would love to say that I grew these beauties myself, this is not the case.  I do, however, know the farmer who did.

A case of ripe tomatoes means that I was going to be spending an afternoon in the kitchen canning said tomatoes.  That's exactly what I did yesterday.  For those of you who have never done this, this is what to do.

1.  The easiest and fastest way to peel the tomatoes is to put them into a pot of boiling water for 30 - 45 seconds.

2.  Take them out of the boiling water and drop them into a bowl of ice water.

3.  This process causes the peels practically slide right off.  I'm making chopped hot-pack tomatoes, so I core and roughly chop each tomato, removing any blemishes or soft spots.

4.  Fill a large pot with the chopped tomatoes ... I use my favorite turquoise Paula Deen stock pot.  Simmer the tomatoes, stirring them frequently, until they are hot and bubbling vigorously.

5.  Ladle the hot tomatoes into sterilized jars.  Seal jars with lids and rings, which have been simmering in a pot of water.  Process in a water bath canner for 45 minutes (for these quart jars).

6.  Use jar tongs to remove the jars to a cooling rack.  For me, the most rewarding part of canning is hearing the 'pop' of the lids as the jars cool ... which indicates that the jar is sealed.

I started working on this at about 2:00 yesterday afternoon, and I was putting the last of the jars into the canner at 6:30.  Not a quick process, by any means, but a very 'fruitful' one ... which yielded 17 gleaming quarts of tomatoes, ready to store and use in all sorts of recipes for the next year.  It also resulted in tomato juice all over the kitchen and myself, and a mountain of dirty pots, bowls, and utensils.  My sweet husband did all the dishes and cleaned the kitchen for me.  By the time he was finished, the only evidence of the afternoon's activity was the hum of the dishwasher and the jars of hot tomatoes cooling on the counter.


  1. Good job, there was a time I use to do this sort of thing and then there came a nursery! Please give Steve an "atta boy" for jumping in there to help you out....no wonder you all have been married so long♥


  2. Wonderful! I, too, love to hear the sound of the 'pop'.... seems to make all the hard work worthwhile. Enjoy!

  3. Oh, what perfect, round, red tomatoes! Ours are all sorts of colors, shapes and varieties from our garden. Into the salsa they go later today! Your canned maters look delicious!! It is indeed messy work.

  4. Very nice! What a nice supply of tomatoes for future use.

    And what a sweet husband. Gotta love it when they help in the kitchen!

  5. Oh.My... those are some beautiful maters! Guess since hubby helped, you will allow him to partake in the bounty, huh? (the canned mater bounty, that is) LOL!

  6. Connie, you are truly industrious. It’s eighty degrees here by eight in the morning. Stepping into the kitchen at two in the afternoon boggles my mind. Carry on . . . . next winter you will enjoy the fruits of your labor. I love the "pop" too!

  7. I miss canning, would literally put up all the tomato, green beans, and corn that we would eat for the entire year (among other vegetables). Those were the days. Have a wonderful day!!

  8. Yum! I've had a nice tomato crop on my deck this year, but we're eating them as fast as I can pick them. Last September I bought 50# of romas from a local farmstand that we like, and it was my first major canning experience. It took a few days to get everything done, but I had a wonderful winter of tasty tomato sauce as a result (plus less waste, since I can re-use the jars). I'm looking forward to doing it again this year!

  9. Our tomatoes are still green, but there's a ton of them out there, Connie! As much as I love eating stewed tomatoes and salsa, I don't enjoy canning the 250 quarts we do every August. lol We usually end up having 4 canning "sessions". Ugh. But....it's all worth it in the end! :)

    xoxo laurie

  10. You make it sound so easy.

    I know better.

    But I also know it's worthwhile.

    I'm impressed and looking forward to seeing those in dishes over our cold months.

    xo Jane

  11. Oh yum -- you will be so glad of those tomatoes come January!

    Delicious looking. Worth the work.

    But I am lazy -- I take extra tomatoes and "dry" them in the oven, for home made "sun dried" tomatoes and use them all winter that way ... freeze them in Ziploc bags.
    Yes, told you I am lazy, but oh how I love to look at those jars of tomatoes!!!!


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