Friday, 25 September 2015

Canning Tomatoes

OK. I am not going to say the dreaded word, which is "the season after Fall". We know it is coming and I do not even want to think about is. For those that do not know me, anything below 25 C is COLD. What am I doing living in Canada?!

A couple of weeks ago I went to my local farmers market in search of plums. Ended up staring at strawberries and left with a bushel of tomatoes. So much for my shopping plans.

Since it was a spur of the moment decision to make preserves for …. you know ..... that terrible cold season, I had to get some jars. Except I had no clue how many I may possibly need. What is a yield from a bushel? Anyone? On the box it said 36 L so figured I may get perhaps half of that.
Do not mean to brag but I was right on the money. 19 liters of yummy tomato sauce!

I have to guard it with my life since I only had 17 jars, I used up remaining sauce making tomato soup. It got eaten faster that I could think of possibly taking a picture! If I wanted to have anything left for… later in the year, I had to hide the remaining jars.

This is how I went about the whole business:

Rinse the tomatoes.

Place tomatoes in the largest pot you have, preferably one with a thick bottom.
Turn the heat on medium.
Once the tomatoes start bubbling, stir and turn the heat down a bit. You do not want them burning and sticking to the pot. 
I cooked mine for 1 hr 50 min., stirring occasionally.The sauce is pretty thin. I have heard one lady say that she cooks her s for 4 hr and gets a thick sauce.

I added about 6 teaspoons of salt to the whole batch. If you need to make smaller ones than adjust the amount accordingly. Best is always to taste how you like it.  
The recipe I googled called for some lemon juice, which I added but I do not think it is necessary.
Once the sauce is ready strain it through the sieve. I used plastic one but I think that steel mesh one may be better. Live and learn, and plan better J
Wash all the jars in soapy water. Rinse well. Leave in the sink and pour some boiling water over the rims – do it slowly. You will see that the water goes down the wall, getting rid of all the bacteria.
Once the water cools a bit, pour it out. The jars are ready to be filled.
Bring the strained sauce to a boil. Fill the jars with hot mixture. Tighten the lids. 
I put jars upside down until completely cold. Flip back up. Check if jars sealed properly by pressing on the lids. If no movement or click that means all is good and ready to be stored.

Have you canned anything this year? It is not too late to start.

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