TOMATOES - FROM HARVEST TO THE JARS
I watched my Mom can tomatoes every fall while growing up. I helped only with washing the canning jars so I really didn't know how to process them myself but some years after I left home my Mom ended up in the hospital just when the tomatoes in her garden were ready for canning. I offered to can them for her. I learned a BIG lesson that year! I thought I was suppose to add water to the tomatoes as they were cooking and that is what I did!!!! Well, as the jars cooled - the tomatoes separated from the water and my project looked pretty pathetic! I ended up with a lot of jars filled with half water - half tomatoes! I now know the proper procedure!
This year my garden produced very few tomatoes but I was fortunate to get the tomatoes in these photos from my nephew, Chad, whose garden produced a great crop of tomatoes this year!
This is how my mother taught me to can tomatoes.
1. Prepare the canning jars by washing them and placing them in a boiling water bath - drain and set on a towel.
2. After washing the tomatoes, carve an 'X' on the bottom of each (about 1 1/2 inches), Place them in boiling water (which loosens the peeling). Remove them from the boiling water and put them directly into ice water to cool them so they can be handled. Peel and quarter each and place in a kettle to cook.
3. Once cooked thoroughly fill the prepared canning jars up to the bottom of the rim.
4. Add one teaspoon canning salt to each jar.
5. Place lids in a small pan of boiling water to soften the rubber seal.
6. With clean wet cloth wipe rim of each jar before placing the hot lid on top - tighten on with the screw-on lid as tight as you can then loosen it just a smidge.
7. Place filled jar on towel to cool for 24 hours before moving to cupboard.
NOTE: AS EACH JAR SEALS YOU WILL HEAR A 'POP' .... IF YOU COUNT THEM AS THE DAY GOES ON YOU'LL KNOW IF THEY ALL SEALED.
Tomatoes from Chad's garden prepared for canning last Tuesday
The tomatoes cooking in an electric roaster.
The finished product.