It is the season of home canning–at least if you have discovered the superior taste of items from the home kitchen and you really don’t want to rely on the grocery store this winter. This week is cooler so I am slightly more motivated to can–slightly. I have put away 6 quarts of my freezer tomato sauce. Since I am the only one in the family who likes this that will probably be it for the season. I have 8 gallon freezer bags of grape tomatoes. We add these whole to a family favorite from my husband’s family, chicken sour soup, and so don’t have to eat winter tomatoes from the grocery store.
Today the agenda called for something only slightly more complicated–diced tomatoes.
I’m serious, it’s not that complicated, or time consuming, the planning is really what makes the time. I had a couple bushels of tomatoes, uniform round ones work really good for diced tomatoes.
The first step is to blanch them in boiling water, this makes it easier to peel.
Then I just cut the tops off and peel the skin off. Avril asked for a job and so I let her cut them up and put them in the jars. She was so funny she said, “I want to help you because I love you so much and I don’t want you to get too tired.” She did a really good job for quite awhile before the acid from the tomatoes got to be too much for her.
I wash the jars in hot soapy water with a bottle brush right before packing. Then attach new lids and reuse the rings from last year.
The kind of canner I use is a steam canner which is basically an inverted hot water canner. It uses less water and so boils faster and the steam in the dome works like a boiling water canner. Some day maybe I’ll get a pressure canner so I can do soup and other vegetables and stuff like that.
I put my diced tomatoes in pints so once the steam starts coming out the hole I time it for 35 minutes.
Then it’s done. So far I have 18 pints. I would like 30 but I also want to do tomato sauce, salsa and soon I will have peaches and pears coming so the diced tomatoes will have to wait. I am trying not to get so task oriented I exhaust myself. Even with the cooler weather it was pretty hot in the kitchen.