I love canning. My husband grew up with his mom canning every fall and he is the one who suggested I try it. My mother-in-law taught me a little after we got married and I loved it from the start. I honestly think it's fun and the food tastes so much better than regular cans. I love that we can have fresh tasting food off season.
Tomatoes are one of my favorite things to can. I am a tomato snob, they just aren't as good when they are off season, so I use these cans in place of fresh tomatoes in recipes all winter. Also, tomatoes are one of the easier things to can (in my opinion) so if you are a beginner they are a good place to start!
Here's the process broken down into easy steps:
1) Wash your jars in the dishwasher so they are freshly cleaned. I usually do some pint sized jars and some quart sized. Do whatever you prefer.
2) Scald tomatoes in boiling water for 1-2 minutes or until skins start to split.
3) Transfer scalded tomatoes to a cool water bath.
4) Peel tomatoes and cut out stems (they should peel super easy after being scalded)
5) Cut tomatoes into chunks or quarters (again, whatever you prefer) and put them in a big bowl with their juices. (You want to keep your juice as much as you can, because you don't add water to tomatoes.)
6) Fill your clean jars with tomatoes.
7) Add sugar, salt and lemon juice to each jar. For quart sized jars: 1 tsp lemon juice, 1/2 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp salt. For pint sized jars: 1/2 tsp lemon juice, 1/4 tsp sugar, 1/4 tsp salt.
8) I can using a steam canner. So from this point I just follow the directions on my canner to seal the jars, but they should water bath can as well, just follow the directions for cold pack tomatoes on whatever type of canner you are using.
My husband snapped this picture of me during the canning process. Can you tell that this is my, "what was I thinking I am way to tired to do this project but I guess I'll smile anyway" face? It's always a nice feeling once you're finished though!
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