Friday, July 31, 2015

Canning Tomatoes

A friend gave me two cases of leftover farmer's market tomatoes last weekend.  What does one do with that many ripe tomatoes all at once?  Can them, of course.  It means that most of a day will be spent with a ton of chopping and cooking and mess, but there's nothing like the taste home-canned tomatoes.   For that one day's worth of effort, we now have 25 quarts of stewed tomatoes.

The finished jars were so pretty, I decided to make them into a watercolor using the Waterlogue iPad app.

Here is how I did it.

1.  Peeled the tomatoes by scalding them in boiling water, then placing them in cold water ... the skins slide right off.  Cut out cores, bruises, and any other blemishes.

2.  For this recipe, in addition to the chopped tomatoes, I added onion, green pepper, a couple of jalapenos, garlic, basil, and some salt.

When my back was turned, as I was working at the other counter chopping tomatoes and stirring the onions and peppers in the pot, Dorothy must have thought that I wouldn't notice her sitting in the empty tomato crate.  

3.  When tomato mixture is simmering strongly, ladle it into prepared jars and process the jars in a hot water bath.

4.  The jars should simmer for at least 30 minutes after the water begins to boil.

5.  Remove jars from the canning pot, and let them cool.  All that's left at this point is to wash the piles of pots and utensils, clean up the mess on the kitchen counters, and admire the colorful results of a productive day.  This fall and winter, these tomatoes will be good for soup, pasta sauce, chili, and whatever else I think of.

For those of you who do canning ... is there any more satisfying sound than the sharp "dink" that you hear as the lid on that last jar pops to indicate that it's sealed?


  1. I've never canned, but I have certainly enjoyed the efforts of others! Those are going to be so good come winter!

    1. Whenever I do stuff like this, I always remind myself of the efforts of past generations of housewives putting up summer’s produce for the lean times in the winter. Nevermind the fact that now we have supermarkets on almost every corner that provide whatever we want no matter what the season. It’s still nice to have at least a small bit of control over our food, since I know the farmer who grew the veg and I was responsible for the processing.

  2. I've never canned either and am somewhat envious of those who do. Down here in hot steamy FL it's not something you hear about being done. My late MIL did it up north but not once they moved down here.

    Your bounty looks delicious and will be especially wonderful come winter.

    Have a nice weekend ~ FlowerLady

    1. I have pretty much always lived where there are distinct seasons ... where winter means that fresh local produce is a memory. Until you mentioned it, I have never thought of canning as a northern activity. Hmmmm. Makes sense.

  3. Ping, ping, ping....
    I love the sound of canning!

    1. The sight of all these colorful jars on the shelves in the basement is pretty awesome, too!

  4. I love canning. My plan for the weekend is peaches. I have a flat that needs to be peeled chopped, and turned into salsa and bbq sauce! Tomatoes will be next!


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