Thursday, August 30, 2012

Canning Tomatoes

I have been canning fruits and vegetables as long as I can remember. Even before I left home I worked at it side by side with my mom. People always tell me it is too hard and too time consuming. I don't think it is hard at all. And the joy you get when you open up a jar of garden tomatoes that you canned over the summer... well your palate and your family will love you!. I have given a step by step direction that anyone can follow :) Ready? Let's go can some tomatoes!
 First you get your tomatoes and make sure they are free from blemishes. And even if you got them from a herbal market still wash them in cold water.
 Next get your station ready so everything is in it's place. Once you get started is not the time to go running around looking for your tomato knife!! You will need a large canner or pot to boil water in. No we are not delivering any babies! You will then need another large pot or bowl and fill it with ice water. Last you will need a bowl or container for your skins that you will peel off. Have your jars open, clean and ready to fill
Make sure you pick tomatoes that are still a bit orangey red. If too red they are too ripe and will turn into mush in the jars. Keep the soft over ripe ones for the tomato sauce. 
 Get your first pot boiling
Add only a few tomatoes at a time otherwise the tomatoes will start the cooking process! Leave them in the boiling water for a count of 60...
Then immediately plunge them in the ice water to prevent them from continuing to cook. The skins will come off very easily. If they do not it is because they did not stay in the boiling water long enough.
 Start people those babies!!
 Who says you can't have fun canning? it is easier then peeling an orange!Make sure you take the stem part out of the tomatoes
 This is a canning funnel!. No you cannot just use your husband's funnel that he uses in the shop. You can get this particular set at Zellers, Walmart and most department stores. It is made for canning jars and fits all of them
 1/2 tsp salt in each jar then boiling water up to 1/2" from the top Wipe the lid off then place the ring and sealer on each jar and almost on the home stretch now!
 Here is the 2nd of the 3 doodads that I was telling you that come in the set. The top one is a air releaser. You place it in the side of the jar to release bubbles :)
 Last of the 3 items.. this is a jar lifter out of the canner. And kudos to you if you can lift the jars out without using it and without burning your fingers on the boiling water!!!

 Get the canner going as soon as you can enjoy dinner! You want to can in the water boil method which is to make sure they jars are covered with boiling water.
Place jars on lifter. All canners come equipped with one. You do not want to put the jars directly on the bottom of the pot as they will break. It also helps when you want to get the jars out.
 10 little jars sitting in a row, all canned stewed tomatoes!