Canning is a lot of hard work. Do not let any one tell you it is not! But, this is something that will pay off the rest of the year with great rewards. I have been canning for about 14 years or more and when I started no one did it! I would have many people call me ~ how do you do this or how do you do that. I have had many classes at my home showing others just how to can. Words of wisdom…use the best veggies you can find to can ~ WHY you ask? Simply you go to so much trouble why wouldn’t you. In years past they would use the tomatoes no one wanted to eat to can? I do not use any that have black spots or marks on them at all. Large, red and very ripe tomatoes only!
How did I learn, well many years ago I ran into an ole country woman and she shared the best information I ever got right there in the tomato fields picking my own tomatoes. As luck would have it I ran into her again the following summer and we talked and I learned even more. The the best teacher is experience it self so now I feel I know enough to share with others.
Step # 1
Start with nice home grown tomatoes. Wash, make sure no blemishes or black spots are on your tomatoes.
Step # 2
Juice many, many fresh lemons ~ lemons keep “PH” in check so you do not bring harm to your family….heee heee killing them with botulism.
No bottle lemon juice here ~ okay
Step # 3
Use clean washed, dry mason jars.
Add two tablespoons fresh lemon juice for quart jars.
Step # 4
Add one teaspoon fine sea salt to quart size jars.
Step # 5
Canning pots, it is best to have 2 of these if you are going to really can? Okay took me a while to collect all this junk needed. I got these babies at Fred’s ….yep I did. They are not expensive either. Fill pots about half full of clean water and bring to a boil.
Step # 6
Once your water boils add the tomatoes until the skin blisters. Remove the tomatoes and put them in an ice bath. This will stop the cooking. I fill one of my sinks with ice water.
Peel tomatoes discard peeling ~ core ~ cut up into quarters put into jars. Filling till tomatoes are one inch from the top of the jars you will have to mash them in the jars.
Step # 8
Once jars are full run a knife around jar to prevent any air pockets.
Clean top of jar well so you get a good seal on each jar, attach lids well and tighten lids.
Step # 9
Put jars in canning pot then fill with cool water until you are about 2 inches from top of jars. Bring water to a boil, then turn heat down to a low simmer and simmer for additional 20 minutes. Remove jars from heat and let come to room temp.
Step # 10
You must make sure jars seal. This is very important!!!
There is a little dimple at top of jar once it is cooled this will no longer be there. You can pop it with your finger and if no pop the SEAL worked. Date your hard work, I take a sharpie and put the date on top of each jar. Store the jars in a cool ~ dry ~ dark place.
** Note ~ If your jar does not seal correctly
you may process one more time if this does not work eat with in 24 hours.
**Do not add any sugar or wine at this point!! Why….because there again you will change the ph level. You can add any thing you want once you open the jar to use it. Got it!!
Step # 11
Admire all your hard work !! Yes, this is a lot of work ~ but I do promise it is worth it. Just think all winter fresh tomatoes for soup, a sauce and spaghetti sauce…..puttanesca oh my!! Enjoy!
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