Sunday, September 11, 2011

Canning Tomatoes: Easier than you'd imagine!

Step One: Purchase mason jars & lids with seals. Sterilize jars and lids by either running through the dishwasher or in a boiling pot of water. Allow jars to cool and dry. Let the lids sit in hot water until needed. 
Step Two: Pick out your tomatoes. Wash them under running water and get out your best paring knife...
Step Three: Cut out the stem and peel the tomatoes, cutting away any bad spots. *Peel those juicy tomatoes over a bowl to reserve any liquid for later use!
 Step Four: Place peeled tomatoes in sterilized mason jars, pressing them down into jar as you go. Leave about 1/2 an inch of space to add a little of the reserved tomato juice at the end. I used one pint jars which took 3-4 tomatoes (depending their size). 
 Step Five: Add reserved tomato juice, distributing to each jar as needed. Add 1/2 t. salt (per pint) to each jar. Using a butter knife, glide the sharp end around the sides of each jar, ensuring any air pockets are removed. Top jars with seals and screw on lids. 
 Step Six: Add jars to boiling pot of water. Using jar tongs, carefully place each jar in the pot, one at a time. Be sure the water is high enough to cover the whole jar, but low enough that the water won't boil over. Fit as many jars in the pot as you can safely. You may need to do a few batches. When jars are in, top with a lid and keep flame high enough to keep at a boil. Boil jars for 35 minutes. 
Step Seven: Carefully remove each jar with tongs and place on a dry towel on counter. Allow to cool and sit at room temperature for 24 hours. 

Congratulations! You have now canned tomatoes. How wonderful. I'm so excited to enjoy garden tomatoes in the dead of winter! My mom and I had a really great time together. She's done it for years and I've been wanting to learn to can. And what's better than garden tomatoes? I love to learn new methods and skills in the kitchen. Through the years I've made homemade peanut butter, bagels, cakes, and other random things. But I want to learn more. Anyone have any ideas? 

Chef Teebs

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