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Thread: Re: Canning (What about tomatoes?)

  1. #16
    Custom Title Pookie's Avatar
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    Canning jalepenos

    My husband loves jalepeno peppers. One year we planted quite a few and I canned them for him. Not an experience I ever repeated.

    The canning recipe I used called for garlic, onion, horseradish and vinegar. It was so potent and stinky, it gagged me and made my eyes water. I had to go outside while it simmered. Then, being a know-it-all, I didn't wear gloves like the recipe stated while I cut little slits in the peppers. My hands sizzled for quite a while after that. :o

    However, he loved the peppers.

  2. #17
    In love with the axel!
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    I feel your pain, Pookie. In the early years, I learned a lesson about those hot peppers - I use them in one of my sauce recipies. I had cut them and then rubbed my eye! Oh, that is pain.

  3. #18
    Keepin' it real gsk8's Avatar
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    Wow. I had no clue this would be so difficult. I don't have the time to boil and do all that pressure stuff :o

    I thought I could throw tomatoes in a blender, add some spices, and then throw it into a mayo or old pasta jar for use during the winter. Not that simple, eh?

  4. #19
    Da' Spellin' Homegirl Grgranny's Avatar
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    Now you know why people don't do much canning any more!!!

  5. #20
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    Here's how I bottle tomatoes. I have done it this way for 25 years and my mother did it this way for 50 years before that (no exageration). Others do it differently. This is just my way.

    1 kettle with boiling water
    1 canner - steam or bath
    1 smallish sauce pan for lids
    bottles as needed
    lids as needed
    rings as needed
    a very old pillow case
    big bowl
    paring knife

    Tomatoes
    salt

    I get the water boiling in the kettle and wash the bottles thoroughly, checking each one for flaws. I put my lids in a small amount of water (enough to cover) in the small sauce pan and put it on the stove on warm. Put water in the canner and get it on the stove and start it heating. Make sure I have enough rings.

    I put a bunch of tomatoes in the old pillow case and put those in the boiling water to scald. I time it for 30 seconds to 2 minutes depending on the amount of tomatoes. Pull them out of the water and drain for a minute in the sink. Dump them into the bowl. You scald the tomatoes so they will peel easily.

    Sit down at the table where my clean bottles are lined up. With my feet on a pile of newspapers (to keep them up so the bowl doesn't slide off my lap), I peel the tomatoes, cut them in sections and fill the bottles. I may have to do several pillow cases full of tomatoes to fill up my bottles.

    Once I have enough bottles for a batch, (7), I add the salt - usually about a teaspoon for quarts and a half-teaspoon for pints. (I don't use any special salt ). I wipe the bottle tops and edges thoroughly with a CLEAN cloth. I gently apply one of the lids from the sauce pan and apply the ring. I then put the bottles on the canner.

    Once the canner is full, I bring the water to a boil and then time it for the recommended amount of time. The time varies, depending on where you live and what your local recommendations are.

    When finished I carefully remove the bottles from the canner. Everything will be VERY hot. DO NOT lift by the lid if possible. I wipe them off, set them to cool and listen for the PING of the lid indicating they have sealed.

    The following day I check each lid for sealing. Press the top. If it gives it hasn't sealed. For those that haven't sealed you can either try another lid and redo the canning process or you can stick it in the fridge and use it first.

    I know that canning isn't an exact science and it isn't fool proof but it can be done. I eat home canned items all the time and have done all my life. My mother didn't kill me and I haven't killed anyone either. Common sense is a must and you may want to get some experienced help the first few times you do it.

    Why do it? Home canned food is soo much better than store bought.

  6. #21
    In love with the axel!
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    That's pretty much the way I do it, A.H. Black . Don't use the pillow case, but that sounds like a good idea when doing large amounts. That's one of the reasons I like the Rutgers, though, because they are the perfect size to just plop in the jar whole and squeeze down. BTW, the sound of the lid popping is music to my ears! :D

    gsk8 - it's really not as much trouble as it sounds, especially if you are not doing sauces. Go to a Wall-Mart or Target and get yourself a small canner and the tools, such as a jar grabber to take the hot jars out of the bath. I have a canner that just does pints, and takes no time at all to heat up. Keep a box of your jars and lids in an easily accessable place, and just do a couple of jars every few nights. Once you have a system in place, it will take only a few minutes to prep them and the water bath. An hour to hour and 1/2 at the most, including the boiling (where you don't actually have to do anything). I actually do pickles the same way, until the main crop comes in - then I use quart jars and my large canner.

    Spanish rice made with your own tomatoes -- yum. I have a couple of jars left from last year - maybe I'll make that for dinner tonight!

  7. #22
    Keepin' it real gsk8's Avatar
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    I would like to thank everyone for this insightful information! It appears Paula will not be doing any canning any time soon. I guess what I should have started was a thread for "tomato" recipees :-)

    I assume it's safe to "freeze" the broccoli that I grow?

  8. #23
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    Yeah, you sure can. However, you can't freeze them raw. Blanch them (I use a metal colendar (sp) in a large pot) then freeze them, making sure that you drain them well, and squeeze all the excess air out of the freezer bag. It avoids freezer burn. Make sure you pick them when they're "young and tender" so to speak - in other words, don't wait too long.

    PS - you can freeze your tomatoes too - it works as well as canning, as long as you have the freezer space.

  9. #24
    Keepin' it real gsk8's Avatar
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    Great!

    Uhm....what's blanch?

  10. #25
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    Blanching is when you put food in boiling water for a short amount of time. If you are canning it means you want to loosen the skins but not cook the food. If you are freezing, it means you begin the cooking process so that the food can be frozen safely. You want to do it long enough to accomplish your purpose but not so long that you actually cook the food.

    sk8er1964 It sounds like you are much more conscientious about this than I am. I am not diligent and just find a morning or night to do everything I can.

    The pillow case is a life saver. I remember watching Martha Stewart giving a demonstration on canning peaches. There she was, blanching peaches one at a time, delicately putting them in the water with her spoon and then delicately scooping them out, again one at a time. My jaw dropped. I laughed and then I turned it off.

    That is not what canning is like. For our grandmothers, canning was the way to preserve the harvest to have enough food to feed their families. These days, for some, it has become a chic thing to do. I guess I'm somewhere in the middle. I do it becuase I can. I've done it since I was a child and have wonderful memories of those days. I still love the taste of those foods. I would also say it saves me money by not having to buy those foods at the grocery store anymore but I'm not sure how much it saves me. On the other hand, I still know families that are able to survive family crisies because of the food they have put by.

  11. #26
    Da' Spellin' Homegirl Grgranny's Avatar
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    We used dishtowels. Probably didn't have extra pillowcases. Had to make them out of sugar sacks. I don't remember but think we made the dishtowels out of flour sacks.

  12. #27
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    When blanching, after you've removed the veggies from the boiling water, you need to put them in very cold (icy) water to stop the cooking process. You can also blanch in a microwave too so check your owners manual for directions. Microwave blanching doesn't take as long and doesn't heat up your kitchen like using the boiling water method.

    Lynn

  13. #28
    Keepin' it real gsk8's Avatar
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    Thanks :-)

  14. #29
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    I got this recipe from Harrowsmith years ago:


    about 2-4 lbs of tomatoes
    1/4 c. olive oil
    maybe a cup of water


    Core and cut up tomatoes and place in a pot. Slowly bring to a boil (appoximately an hour) and then let them simmer for another hour.

    Let cool in the pot, skim off the skins, they will float to the top and then freeze the tomatoes.

    You can add anything you want to it, ie onions, celery, and of course spices.

    It freezes well, but use within a year.

    Great for tomato sauces, stews, etc.

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