Friday, July 25, 2014

Small Batch Canning: Tomatoes

I hate to waste food.  I especially hate to waste food I know I would use!  The spoiled avocado, the moldy potato, the garlic that dried out...all of it drives me crazy.  When I read that American shoppers throw away 40% of their groceries on average, I grab my calculator, do a quick tally and feel guilty.

Canning garden fresh tomatoes, jalapenos, green beans make me feel balanced in life.  I know that's strange, but canning is a summer activity for me, like swimming or lemonade.  Listening to a fresh batch cool on the counter as the lids 'POP'-is truly music to my ears.

Anyone with a stove are able to can.  You do NOT need a pressure cooker.

Canning Tomatoes
*This recipe allows for you to can what you have. You can can as many or as little as you'd like.

-tomatoes diced and placed in a pot
-Canning salt

-canning jars
-canning lids (always use a new lid)
-canning rings that screw over the lid
-canning funnel (has a wide opening and sits nicely on the jar)

Bring your tomatoes to boil.  Have your jars either sitting in hot water or freshly finished in the dishwasher so they are sterile and hot.  Place your lids in a small sauce pan, cover with water and bring to a simmer.

Take a hot jar (I hold with a pot holder), put the hot tomatoes in the jar-leaving about a half of an inch of space from the top of the jar, top with a teaspoon of canning salt.  Wipe the lip of the jar so it is clean and dry.  Take a pair of tongs and remove a lid from the saucepan, place on jar and screw on ring.  Place on rack to cool, completely.

You will hear the lids 'POP' throughout the day.  That is a good indication the jars are sealing properly.  If a jar did not seal properly, you will know soon enough when the contents smell and/or change color. 

It takes up to 12 hours for batches to cool completely.  Do not try to rush this process.

Store canned items in a dark cool place.  They are good for up to a year.
Note: I use a Sharpie to write the month and year on the lid.


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