The simplest thing possible – I canned them as crushed tomatoes.
And now I don’t have to buy canned tomatoes or tomato sauce over the winter. My canned tomatoes are sweeter, and taste fresher, than anything you can buy.
They are a little bit more watery than store bought, but since there is an extra ounce or two in my jars, I just let it cook down a bit. I use them for any recipe calling for diced, crushed, sauce – any of it.
The idea of “canning” might seem scary at first. There are so many horror stories of botulism, or pressure cooker explosions, or even simple problems like jars not sealing.
But really, using today’s tested recipes and equipment, it really isn’t scary. And the feeling of preserving your own food to use all winter, and to give away as gifts is priceless.
And once you offer people some canned goods, you’ll realize how much people love this stuff. It is so much better than what you can buy.
I mean, honestly, I thought I hated grape jelly, until I made some with grapes that I grew. And the difference is amazing. I love grape jelly. I don’t like Smucker’s or Welch’s grape jelly. (And Bridgette’s kids, who were die hard strawberry jam fans now fight over my jelly.)
So I’m encouraging you to give canning a try, especially in the spring and summer when produce is so cheaply available.
Back to my tomatoes. You saw me peel them in a previous post.
I threw them in a pot and let them heat up, since they were pretty much still frozen. Once they were hot, I let them gently boil for 5 minutes.
While I was doing all the work on the tomatoes, I had a big pot full of water with my pint jars in it, heating up.
Once the tomatoes have boiled 5 minutes, I get out the jars, add citric acid to each jar, ladle in the tomatoes, wipe the rims of the jars, put on the lids, and put them back in the pot of hot water. Process it for 45 minutes (35, + 10 more for the altitude.)
If you think you might be interested in learning to can, I highly recommend:
(If you use these Amazon links, you’ll help support our website!)
A Ball cookbook. I have this one, and I can honestly say I use it more than any other cookbook that I own. Ball is well known for testing their recipes, to make sure they are very safe.
This one is also highly recommended for safe techniques and tested recipes.Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving
You might also want a few basic tools – a jar lifter, funnel, and lid magnet.3 Pieces Canning Essentials Kit Jar Lifter Wide Mouth Canning Funnel Magnetic Lid Wand for Canning Jars Anti-Scald Kitchen Tools Home-Made Jam Set (Green)
I have some wonderful recipes for jelly and pickles, that people ask for every year. If y’all want me to share them, and get into more detail about canning, please let me know!