Saturday, August 9, 2008

Enjoy garden tomatoes, ALL winter long...

Canning tomatoes is surprisingly easy and well worth it if you can get fresh, inexpensive tomatoes.

My garden never supplies enough tomatoes for canning but a local Mennonite farm that we get our eggs from sure does. She sells plastic laundry baskets full (I guess they equal about a bushel) for only $3.50!! I bought two and processed about half of them today. The other half need another day or two to ripen and will become a batch of homemade salsa.

I have a large pot of boiling water and drop the tomatoes in for about 60 seconds. Then I plunge (I like that word) them into a ice water bath.

See how the skins are peeling? The skins just rub right off and I cut out the cores.

I clean the jars in the dishwasher and boil the lids in a small pot on the stove for about 10 minutes to sterilize them.

Then I start stuffing the peeled tomatoes into the jars. They supply their own juice. I fill to about 1/2" to the top.

The mess afterwards....

I have to buy a big canner, but a large pot on the stove works fine too!

The jars are lined up waiting to be processed. They need to be in a waterbath for about 45 minutes.

I use the handy jar grabber (hand me down from mom-in-law) to remove the jars and allow them to cool on racks.

It's worth the work and I think I'll have to go and get more tomatoes and can some more!!

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