Monday, August 26, 2013

Canning Tomatoes

It's the end of August and the gardens are starting to slow down their production of fruits and vegetables.  Tomatoes are ripening on the vine and are ready for canning.  Today I started washing my jars and prepping the tomatoes ( 140 pounds) for canning.   Whenever we canned tomatoes, Mom always made her Tomato Soup from the peels, cores and juices that are collected in the process.

Growing up we always helped with the vegetables and fruits when it was time to 'put them away for winter'.  We learned while helping how to blanche, peel and stuff the jars.  To this day I have always canned a batch of tomatoes in whatever city we lived at the time.  This was one thing I loved to have in my pantry to use in soups, sauces and especially for making borscht.   As a child it was always a 'chore' - as an adult it is almost therapeutic and takes me back home to the memories of my childhood.

In this post I will show you how my Mother and Grandmother canned tomatoes.   

 
 CANNING TOMATOES
 
Tomatoes washed and blanched for 3-4 minutes

Canning jars sterilized and ready for the tomatoes.

The core is removed

The tomato skin is slipped off
  
 Cut the cored and skinned tomato into quarters and if
the tomato is large, cut into smaller pieces.
 
With your hand press the tomatoes down into the jar,
this is to ensure the jar is full of tomatoes
 
Set jar aside and continue to core, peel and fill all your jars

 The skins and cores and juices will be used later for
a 'tomato soup stock'.


 Once  you have filled all your jars and used all your tomatoes,
add 1 tsp of coarse salt to a quart jar

 Sterilize  your canning lids in boiling water and then
wipe the rims of the jars with a clean cloth, top with the
sterilized seals and finish with the jar rings.  Tighten
the rings well and place in canner.

 Add cold water to canner making sure it reached to
the neck of the jar just under the ring.

Turn on to high heat and bring to a boil,
once boiled turn heat down to a good simmer and set
timer for 20 minutes.  Turn off the heat and remove jars
to a rug or blanket and cover.  Let cool before
putting away on shelves.
 
 Beautiful, colourful, healthy tomatoes - these will be
so tasty in my soups, salads, sauces and chilies.
 
 
 YOU WILL NEED
 
Canning tomatoes
Coarse Pickling Salt
Canning jars
Sealing lids
Rings for jars
Canner or a pot to process the tomatoes.
 
 
'A friend is one who overlooks your broken fence and admires the flowers in your garden.'
Author Unknown