There’s something deeply satisfying about preserving the fresh vegetables and fruits that you have grown yourself in your back yard. If you have never canned before, tomatoes are a good place to start. They are very easy, and give great pleasure throughout the year as you use your wonderful sauce to prepare special dinners.
Materials and tools:
– Water bath canning kit
– Canning jars with self sealing lids
– Personalized labels to fit your jars
- Fresh vine-ripened tomatoes
- 1/2 tsp salt per pint (or 1 tsp per quart)
- Add two tablespoons of bottled lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon of citric acid per quart of tomatoes.
- For pints, use one tablespoon bottled lemon juice or 1/4 teaspoon citric acid.
- Put a big pot of water on the stove. Bring it to a boil and place tomatoes carefully into it. Keep them covered.
- In a few minutes, when you see the skins start to split and curl back, take the tomatoes out of the water with a slotted spoon and place in a colander to drain.
- When cool enough to handle, remove the skins and place peeled tomatoes in a large cook pot.
- Simmer on very low hear, stirring occasionally until it thickens into a sauce. This can take hours, sometimes all day or overnight. Take your time. The slower the better!
- When you are just about ready to can the tomatoes, add the salt in proportion to the volume of the tomatoes.
Can the tomatoes.
- Place canning lids in a pan, cover with water and simmer for 10 minutes. Wash canning jars and screw caps, and keep in simmering water until ready to fill.
- Have the sauce simmering slowly on the stove, and fill jars up to 1″ from the top with the sauce. Wipe rim of jar with a clean, damp paper towel to be sure there is no food residue.
- Immediately place a lid, rubber-side down, over the top of the jar and seal tightly with a screw cap. Process in boiling water bath, 35 minutes for pints, 45 minutes for quarts.
Using your sauce.
You can make a simple and elegant topping for pasta by adding salt alone, or get fancy and add any combination of olive oil, sugar, basil, mushrooms, olives, prawns, sausage, chicken, oregano, hot or sweet peppers, onions, etc. for a quick and delicious meal in minutes. You can also take your time and let the flavors simmer slowly for topping pasta or stirring into rice. Add hot water or milk and eat it as a soup.