Sunday, September 19, 2010

Saving the bounty of summer with home canning (that's really in a jar.)

Just in case you're wondering...25lbs of tomatoes is a whole lotta tomatoes. I got this copier paper sized box of plum tomatoes from my CSA, Rexcroft Farms, which held the most perfectly ripe unblemished tomatoes I'd ever seen. Not a bad one in the bunch. So how to save this little slice of summer? Home canning is the key. Yup, just like grandma used to make.You really just need a big 'ole pot and some tongs, but I picked up this canning set which included all the gadgets that made it really easy. I'll bet you can find one at a yard sale. My mom swears there's one in the garage somewhere. You also need mason jars with lids and I recommend a basic canning book if you've never done it before. It's easy, but kind of a lot of work. I know I can just buy a can of tomatoes for a couple of bucks, but I'm really proud that I did it myself. Peeling and coring the tomatoes took the most effort, but I think it's gonna be worth it. Put the tomatoes in the jars, add a little lemon juice, basil, and salt then process in boiling water for about an hour and voila, home made canned tomatoes. The 25 lb box made 12 quarts of tomatoes.Aren't they pretty? It's hard not to want to open them up right now, but I'll be glad in January that I saved them now.