Thursday, August 20, 2015

Canning Tomatoes

Canning is a huge ordeal in our family. We love to have home-canned produce in our storage room so that we can heat up quickly on the stove or add to our meals, especially in the winter. And guess what!  It's tomato season! Today mom and I went down to my Grandmother's house and canned tomatoes.  These canned tomatoes are perfect for making sauce for lasagna, pizza, spaghetti or to add to soups. When winter comes there is nothing like the taste of a summer ripe tomato to add flavor to your meals.  These tomatoes can be canned in any type of jar, but be sure to change the amount of lemon juice and salt that you add depending on the size of the jar. The lemon juice gives the tomatoes enough acid to keep from growing bacteria, so don't forget to add it. Remember to never use home canned goods if they don't seal properly. The only ingredients for this recipe are tomatoes, lemon juice, and salt.  Be sure you have two large pots and a metal grate that fits in one for when you are processing.   I hope you enjoy these as much as my family does. Here's how we do it:

Step One: Pick out your ripest tomatoes, (one sink full will make about 7 quarts of canned tomatoes).

Step Two: Boil a pot of water, and in a clogged sink pour the water covering the tomatoes to scald them. Push tomato tops into the water until the skins split (a couple of minutes). 

Step Three: Use a wooden spoon to lift up the drain and let the water run out of the sink.  Run cold water over the tomatoes and peel off sink.  Cut up skinless tomatoes and place into a pot big enough to hold all of your tomatoes. 

Step Four: Place your cut up tomatoes on the stove and cook them down for about an hour and a half or until foam is off the top (small rolling boil, stirring frequently).
Half way done
Step Five: Using a funnel, pour tomatoes in clean mason jars (they will be hot so you will probably want to use gloves). Put one tablespoon of lemon juice and a 1/4 a teaspoon of salt in each jar per quart, (decrease amount if using smaller jars). We like to add the lemon juice and salt before so that we know we did it.   With a paper towel, wipe off rims until clean.  Fill a small saucepan with a couple inches of water and bring jar lids to a boil.  Top each jar with a boiled lid (careful they are hot, you might want to use tongs), then screw on the ring.

Step Six: Place each of your jars in a large pot with the grate on bottom (the jars should not be placed directly on the bottom of the pot). Cover the jars with water and place on stove.  Bring to a small rolling boil and maintain boil for 55 minutes.  

Step Seven: Take the jars out of the pot carefully and let cool. Store in a cool, dry place. After 24 hours, check to see if cans are sealed (lids should not flex up and down when lids pressed). Write date on lids. 

And there you go! I hope you find this recipe useful.  Remember to write the date on your lids.  Bottled tomatoes last a little over a year.  Let me know if you have any questions.