Saturday, August 27, 2011

Toe-may-toe, Toe-mah-toe

I have been canning tomatoes since I was a newlywed. Over a decade later, I am still thrilled by the sight of freshly canned tomatoes!

This morning I got up early so decided to pick some tomatoes and get to work. If you are new to canning, tomatoes are the best to start with. Their high acidity means that you can process the jars with very little equipment. Some clean MASON jars, 2 part lids, large water bath canner, jar tongs, and some fresh ripe tomatoes are all you need.

(*Mason jars come in many brands, the most popular are Kerr and Ball, I also have collected a few other brands over the years of trading, but the key word is mason. If a jar doesn't say MASON I wouldn't used it. Mason jars are specially made to safely hold canned produce, and will not easily break under pressure or heat, and will not leach out any toxins to your produce while in storage.

*2 part lids include the flat lid and a band that holds it to the jar. The bands can be used over and over. The flat lids should NEVER be reused.)

I skinned all the tomatoes and placed them in the jar with a little Kosher salt. You can buy special canning salt, but since my Kosher salt isn't iodized I am able to use that. Process in boiling water for 40 minutes and let cool. (I love hearing the clink of the lid as it cools!)

Since I had plently of skinned tomatoes left, and it was only 8:15am I decided to whip up some tomatoe basil soup as well. It is processing in the hot water bath as I type. It was such a hit during the winter last year, I doubled my batch this time around.

(I keep Ball Blue Book Guide to Preservingon the counter when I am canning. It has proper canning instructions for anything I can imagine.)

Photos of other recent canning projects:


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