Happy Friday everyone! I don’t know why but this week has really dragged on. In fact, it feels like the whole month of September has dragged on! It feels like Shawville Fair was months ago rather then weeks ago. I guess that’s just preparing me for the long winter months ahead.
I think one of my favorite things about Fall is getting ready to hibernate for the winter. Getting the pool shut down, patio furniture put away and harvesting the garden.
This years garden was pretty meek. The drought really kicked the butt of most of my plants. My tomato plants on the other hand? Thrived!
This year I planted 8 tomato plants and yielded many tomatoes. Of course, I don’t like raw tomatoes so I have to process them all. I figured today I would share with you all how I do that.
1. Grab a canning pot and fill it full of water. Put it on high and begin to get it to boil. This is one big pot of water and takes a long time so go ahead and get that started!
2. Fill a LARGE bowl with cold water and ice and place it in your sink. Some people just place the tomatoes right in the sink but did you know your kitchen sink is one the ‘germiest” places? Yuck!
3. Take a smaller pot of water and allow it to boil. Grab a tomato and at the bottom of the cut it with a “X”. This just helps with the peeling process.
4. Place as many tomatoes as you can in your pot of boiling water. Cook for 30 seconds.
5. Immediately, remove from boiling water and place in ice water to stop the cooking process. Allow tomatoes to cool completely!
6. Begin removing the skins from your cooled tomatoes. They should literally fall off.
7. Cut away any marks or bruises and remove core. Now, you can either keep the tomato whole or dice them like I do. I just like doing the extra step so that when I use my tomatoes they are already diced for me.
8. At my “prep” station I always keep two bowls/pots. One is for the good pieces of tomatoes that I will be putting in mason jars like this:
And the other is a scrap bowl. You accumulate alot of scraps fairly quickly so it’s nice having a scrap bowl right on hand.
9. In CLEAN and STERALIZED jars you will need to put the following;
Pint Jars: 1 tbsp Lemon juice and 1/2 tsp of sea(or canning) salt
Quart Jars: 2 tbsp Lemon juice and 1 tsp of sea(or canning) salt
10. Using a canning funnel. Scoop pieces of diced tomatoes into jars. Using the end of a wooden spoon (or something like that) smash down any air to make room for as many tomatoes as possible. Leave a 1/2 inch of head space between where your tomatoes and where you would put on the lid.
11. Place CLEAN and STERILIZED canning lids on jars and screw tightly. GENTLY, place jars in canning pot of boiling water. Cover with canning pot lid.
Allow to cook 35 minutes for Pint jars and 45 minutes for Quarts.
When are the time goes off, remove from canning pot with specialized canning thongs. Very hot!
12. Allow jars to sit. You will begin hearing some popping sounds of the seals. Very normal! By the time the jars cooled completely you would be able to test that the top of the lid does not move up and down when pressed on.
Store your canned tomatoes until you are ready to use them in your favorite recipe! After opening a jar and eating your fresh tomatoes in the dead of winter you can’t help but taste summer!
Out of 8 tomato plants I got 20 quarts and 5 pints of diced tomatoes.
Hope you have a wonderful weekend!