Friday, July 20, 2012

Canning Roma Tomatoes

 There's nothing better than pulling a jar or two of canned Roma tomatoes from the pantry to add to a pot of chili, spaghetti sauce, chicken stew or vegetable soup. It may be less trouble and possibly cheaper to buy them at the store; but the taste of homemade is more than worth it. I know what I've got in my jars; and I have no idea what's lurking in that can.

I picked two small buckets of tomatoes and sorted through and picked the ripest ones. The remainder I laid out on a table for a few more days of ripening. I guessed that I would have enough to fix 9 jars. It ended up being 10, but one of my jars must have had a hair-line crack I didn't notice. As I was lifting it from the rack, the bottom literally fell out.
 Pop the stems off and wash tomatoes. Check for tomatoes with spots and bruises and set them aside.

Fill a large pot with water. Bring it to a boil. While the pot is heating up, fill your CLEAN sink with cold water. Carefully add several tomatoes to the pot. Let them boil for approximately 1 minute. Transfer them to a bowl with a slotted spoon and put them in the cold water. Repeat this until all the tomatoes have been through this process.
 The skins will come off easily after a hot water soak. Cut the ends/core and remove skins.
Add the tomatoes to STERILIZED, hot jars. I typically pack these in pint jars. I run my jars, rings and lids through the dishwasher to clean and heat everything up. With a wooden spoon or silicone spatula, carefully pack the tomatoes. 
For pint jars add 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1/4 tsp. salt. (Double for quart jars)
Carefully wipe the rim of the jar, place a lid on and hand-tighten the ring. Do not overtighten!
 Place jars in a rack.
Place rack in canning pot, completely cover jars with an additional inch or two of water. 
Bring to a boil. Boil for 45 minutes.
 Using canning tongs, carefully remove the jars to a towel on your counter for cooling and absorbing the excess water. You should hear the jars pinging fairly quickly. This sound lets you know they sealed properly. If they don't seal, put in refrigerator and use.
  The juice is still boiling away when the jars are removed.
 A casualty. :-(

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