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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Canning Tomatoes

This last week my mom went up to Girls Camp as a cook. And every year when the week is over, there is always a TON of leftover food. This year, there were lots of tomatoes and potatoes. But since I've already blogged about canning potatoes, today I'm going to talk about tomatoes. And it is a long process. But totally worth it, as is canning or preserving any food. So let's start with the pictures.
We started with two flats. The other one had a few more tomatoes than this one did.
Then you wash your tomatoes in the sink.
You get a pot with hot boiling water in it. And its best to wait until the water is boiling because then it doesn't take as long for the next step!
You put your tomatoes in the pot until they "blanch"
Blanching is when the skin starts to split. You don't want the skin on the tomatoes and it makes it easier to take the skin off when it is blanched.
After the tomatoes blanch, you put them into a different bowl that has ice cold water in it. It will cool down the toamtoe so that you can actually touch it and peel the skin off.
Here are the skins!
After the skin is off of the tomatoes, they are ready to start getting diced. You can actually can the tomatoes whole, in halfs, or diced, and since I don't even like tomatoes, I think that the diced ones are perfect so that when you use them, it is easier to blend them up in the blender to put in your food! :)
You get your cutting board, knife, and tomatoes ready.
You cut out the center where the tomatoes connects to the stem.
And then you chop them up! Tomatoes are really watery and you want to make sure that when you move your tomatoes into your next pot that you move the liquid over also.
Once you get about this many tomatoes on the board, they are ready to be put into the pot.
This is my mom's big huge soup pot that she has. When all of the tomatoes are cut and put into the pot, you put the pot on the stove and you boil the tomatoes for five minutes. I don't start the timer until the tomatoes are at a rolling boil. Then you can turn the fire down a little bit so you don't get tomatoe splatters all over the place.
You want to make sure that your jars are clean and you fill them up until there is about a 1/2 inch of space left at the top. (Being the slacker I am, I forgot to get a picture of pouring it in. But I think you understand) Then you put them in your pressure cooker for 30 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure. And then you have lovely tomatoes on your shelf for your food storage.

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