I didn’t grow up canning, it is a hobby I inquired in college (with the help of my wonderful friends) and I’ve never looked back. It’s a yearly tradition in my kitchen. Why wouldn’t you want to heat your kitchen to 110° on an August morning in Missouri? And more importantly why buy stewed tomatoes, salsa, and pizza/spaghetti sauce when you have a surplus of tomatoes in your (or your neighbor’s) garden? I am not yet a great tomato farmer but luckily I have a neighbor who grows enough to share. Tomatoes and their sauce are wonderful complements to the beef that our freezer (and hopefully yours) is full of.
- Collect the ripe tomatoes from your garden, letting them sit on the counter until you have enough for your canning experience.
- Place a large pot of water on your stove and bring to a boil (I just use my water canner). Side note: Your kitchen will start to heat up.
- Fill one side of your sink with cold water.
- Wash all the tomatoes.
- Slice a X into the bottom of the tomatoes with a paring knife (this helps keep the hot water from collecting in between the skin and meat of the tomato). Place ~10 tomatoes into the boiling water until the skins start to crack (~2 minutes). Remove from boiling water using a slotted spoon or ladle. Place the tomatoes into a strainer that is over a roasting pan. Dump the boiled tomatoes into the cold water. Continue this process until all tomatoes have been placed in the boiling water.
- Remove the skins from the tomatoes. They should just slide off. Place the skins in a scrap bucket.
- Core the stem of the tomato (the center) using a paring knife. Place the skinned and cored tomatoes into a bowl.
- After peeling and coring tomatoes, rough chop ~2 tomatoes on a cutting board.
- Place the chopped 2 tomatoes and juice into a quart sized freezer bag, press air out of bag before sealing. Repeat until you have as many bags as you think you will use throughout the year.
- Label the bag stewed tomatoes and the year (let’s be honest things get lost in the freezer).
- Store in your freezer.
I use these throughout the year in place of all recipes that call for stewed tomatoes….chilis (you need beef for that), soups, pastas, salsas, etc. When I am using my crock-pot I just cut the bag and place the frozen tomatoes straight into the pot without defrosting (call me the queen of short cuts in the kitchen or lazy if you like).
I grew up in a family that happens to love Mexican food…just ask Chris. I double the recipe and usually end up with ~20 quarts.
7 quarts peeled, cored tomatoes (see instructions above)
2 jars chilies
3 onions, quartered
5 seeded jalapenos (cut into half and scrape the seeds out…make sure you wash your hands well after and don’t rub any part of your body until hands have been washed)
1 packet Mrs. Wage’s medium salsa
3 tbsp oregano leaves
1 bundle fresh cilantro (less if you dislike the stuff…I happen to love it)
1 cup finely chopped garlic (I buy it at Sams)
2 tbsp salt
2 tbsp cumin
2 cups lemon juice
1 cup lime juice
Directions: Quarter the tomatoes and place into a food processor (2-3 tomatoes at a time, depending on the size of your food processor and the tomatoes). Pulse until small, bite size pieces, then dump into a large stock pot (make sure the juice from the cutting board and processor make it into the pot too). Continue until all tomatoes have been processed. Place the onions in the food processor and pulse until small, bit size pieces. Add to the pot with the tomatoes. Place the garlic, jalapenos, and chilies in the food processor, pulse until small pieces and add the mixture to the tomato mixture. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring the pot to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Transfer salsa (using a ladle) into clean canning jars (I use quarts), leaving at least 1/2 inch head room. Wipe rims clean, place on lids and rings, and tighten. Label the jars. Process the jars in a hot water bath (fill a large water canner with hot water, bring the pot to a roaring boil), place the jars into the canner (make sure all the jars are submerged) and process for 30 minutes. Remove jars from boiling water, place on a soft towel and allow to cool for 24 hours. Refrigerate the jars if the seals don’t pop downward.
You know we love pizza at our house but I also use this sauce for pasta. I normally double this recipe and end up with 40 pints (aka 40 pizzas).
2 large onions, quartered
1 cup garlic
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp of tomato juice
25-28 tomatoes, peeled and cored, quartered
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp parsley
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp basil
1 tsp rosemary
2 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic
2 tbsp lemon juice
6 cans tomato paste
1 packet Mrs. Wage’s pizza sauce
Directions: Combine the first 5 ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Dump into a large stock pot. Puree tomatoes in the food processor (~2-3 tomatoes at a time), add to pot, continue until all tomatoes are pureed. Add the remaining ingredients to the pot, stir. Simmer for 3-4 hours until moisture is cooked out and sauce thickens. Stir every half hour.
Transfer the sauce (using a ladle) into clean canning jars (I use pints), leaving at least 1/2 inch head room. Wipe rims clean, place on lids and rings, and tighten. Label the jars. Process the jars in a hot water bath (fill a large water canner with hot water, bring the pot to a roaring boil), place the jars into the canner (make sure all the jars are submerged) and process for 30 minutes. Remove jars from boiling water, place on a soft towel and allow to cool for 24 hours. Make sure the seals have popped downward, if not the jar needs to be placed in the refrigerator.
Until Next Time,