It's Canning Season
Written by my momma, Barbara Jackson
Tomatoes have always been a part of my life. When I was a girl in south Louisiana my mom had a half acre garden that fed us summer and winter. One of her staples was fresh and canned tomatoes. As an adult I have always had a garden or knew where to get vegetables, mostly tomatoes.
When I moved to central Texas I was exploring some of the small towns around where I lived and found a very interesting sign that really just sealed my fate because I have been happily enjoying tomatoes in my new home ever since.
I read about these clubs and it was so amazing that my lovely tomatoes were such an important part of agricultural history. Since moving here almost 6 years ago I have been happily eating and canning tomatoes. I slice them, make cucumber and tomato salad, and of course toss them in green salads and pasta salads. But when you pop open those jars in the winter and make rich tomato soup, salsas, tomato sauces, chili, soups and stews, there is nothing that compares. And for the very best flavor make your own tomato paste. I could eat it with a spoon all by itself!
Ingredients for Tomatoes
10lbs fresh large tomatoes
Hot water bath for tomatoes and jellies. Heat water in cooker to boiling put clean jars in water for several minutes, remove from water. Pour boiling water over seals and let set.
Prepare your assembly line because this goes quick! First blanch the tomatoes. To do this place them boiling water cook the tomatoes for two minutes. Immediately remove and submerge them in ice water. Then remove their peel and core and either cut up or just crush the tomatoes and place in a large bowl. Ideally you want three bowls here; one for ice water, one for the peels, and one for the tomatoes.
Fill jars leaving about an inch of space and put in 1/4 tsp table salt (or 1/8 tsp kosher) per pint. Next wipe off rims, place seals on jars and secure rings. Put jars in water be sure water covers jars. Cover, bring to boil and allow to boil for 10 minutes for pints and 20 minutes for quarts.