My wife, bless her, subtly suggested I use some of the tomatoes not for salsa, or tomato sauce, but rather for packed tomatoes. I agree, they will be perfect for soups, stews or chili.
I just want to put up as much of the summers' produce before it goes bad. To me there is no excuse not to capture the fruits of my labor while I have the time. Today has been very busy, tips on peeling pearl onions, a garden visit, bread and butter pickles, and now the hot packed tomatoes.
By the way, most of the canning recipes are from the Ball Blue Book, guide to preserving. Considering this is my first year of practicing canning, it has been a invaluable resource. (DISCLAIMER: This is not step by step all inclusive instructions. If you choose to can produce or other foods, please get proper equipment and instructions and follow them to the letter. The risk of serious food borne illness is very real. Proceed at your own risk.)
Let's get started!
Prepare the jars , lids and bands according to the instructions.
Gather the tomatoes. The bowl is for plunging the blanched tomatoes, making them easier to peel.
Put the tomatoes into boiling water for a minute.
Transfer immediately into the cold water.
Cut out the stem end and quarter or halve depending on the size of the tomato.
When finished I have almost 4 quarts (8 pints).
Of course the stems and skins will end up in the compost pile.
Put the divided tomatoes in a large pot and add enough water to just cover. Bring to a gentle boil, let it boil for 5 minutes.
Here is the canning setup.
Ladle tomato into jar. Add 1 tsp Lemon juice and 1/2 tsp salt per pint jar. Add tomatoes and water to 1/2" headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim with clean damp cloth. Place lid on using lid wand. Center lid. Screw down jar band evenly to "finger tight."
As each jar is filled, place into canner. After all jars are filled, lower basket into water, put on the lid and bring to a rolling boil. Process pints for 40 minutes (at sea level).
When time is up, turn off heat, and remove lid. Wait 5 minutes.
Remove jars, and place in a cool draft-free place for 12-24 hours. The fact that the tomatoes have risen to the top is not of great concern. Apparently I could have packed the tomatoes a bit tighter.
After jars have cooled, check lids for seal , if the lid is pulled down, remove the bands and gently try to remove lids, if the lid does not flex and you cannot lift it off, the lid has a good seal.
Wipe the lid and and jar surface. Label with contents and the date. Store in a cool dry place for up to a year.
The Gastronomic Gardener
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Cooking blog http://ihopeyouarehungry.blogspot.com/
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