One of our favorite things about our new house is our giant garden. Casey really loves to work in it, and I really love the stuff we get from it. My all time favorite is tomatoes. I grew up with tomato sandwiches and my sister and I used to eat them like they were apples, with salt, of course. Our town is even famous for our tomatoes. Our annual town get-together is called “tomato days”.
Since Casey has done such a great job with our garden this year, we’ve got tomatoes coming out of our ears! So I got busy and today, I want to show you how to can tomatoes.
Side note: Do any of you wish we lived in the “I love Lucy” days, where “housewives” wore aprons and scarves in their hair, and doing things like bottling tomatoes was an everyday thing? Yeah, I totally wish I lived in those days. Except with dishwashers and washing machines and my Dyson vacuum.
Would you like to bottle your own tomatoes? Here’s how:
Start by boiling a large pot of water.
Stick your tomatoes into the boiling water for about a minute or two. The riper they are, the less time they need in the water. You aren’t trying to cook the tomatoes, you are just making them easy to peel.
After they take a bath in the boiling water, transfer them to a cool water bath. I just fill up one side of my sink with ice-cold water, and let them sit in there for a minute to stop the heat from cooking them.
Take a knife and core the tomato.
Then skin the tomato. If you did it right, the skin should just slip right off.
And then quarter the tomato.
Fill up your quart jars with the quartered tomatoes. Squish them in there until it’s full to the neck of the jar. You can use wide-mouth jars if you have them, but I just use regular quart jars because they are cheaper.
Once you’ve got all of your jars full of tomatoes, add water to the neck of the jar- just where the curve is. Also add a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of sugar.
Wipe off the mouth of the jar and put on your lid and ring.
Place your filled and sealed jars into a giant pot of boiling water. The water should be over the top of the jars. Boil for 45 minutes.
Once you’ve boiled your jars, let them sit on the counter for 24 hours. Then check and make sure the tops have popped. That’s how you’ll know they’re sealed.
Make sure you date your lids so you know what year they were preserved. And enjoy your tomatoes all year long!
You will want to store your tomatoes at room temperature, out of direct light. I have mine on a shelf in my pantry- but not the top shelf where the light shines on them. They should last you a few years, if your family doesn’t gobble them up as fast as mine does!
I love to use bottled tomatoes for salsa, spaghetti sauce, and soups.