Tag Archives: tomatoes

My New Favorite Way to Can Tomatoes

canning tomatoes
my new favorite home canned tomato sauce
Over the summer, I got a case of tomatoes at the farmer’s market and they were so tasty that I decided I needed to save some for over the winter. Sun drying was out of the question. Too much rain and too much humidity. So, I decided to make sauce and can it. My previous sauces have been too watery, so this time I tried a new approach. Lydia from Lydia’s kitchen, says the tomato seeds can make the sauce bitter, so I quartered and seeded them and filled 2 pots with the pieces, skin and all. I cooked them down for 2 or 3 hours, then let them sit overnight to cool, so I could put them through the blender. The next morning, I processed the cooked tomatoes in a high speed blender on the smoothie setting for a couple minutes, including the skins, which were now soft. I poured the thick, rich sauce back into the pots and cooked it down to half.
canning jars
boiling canning jars to sterilize
The following day, I heated the sauce, sterilized jars, filled them and capped them. I processed them in a boiling water bath for the amount of time indicated by the Ball Blue Book for 7800 ft. elevation.
ball blue book of canning
ball blue book of canning
This is my new favorite way to preserve tomatoes. Sadly, we have already used up all the sauce for spaghetti, pizza, and soup. The good news is, I seemed to have cooked out enough of the water for the sauce to stay thick. The flavor was incredible. I think next season I will be getting several cases of those tomatoes.
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Tomato Tales

I think our local Wal-Mart was being overly optimistic when they put out a rack of tomato plants.  As they became frost damaged, the price became 50 cents apiece and my friend and I were lucky enough to happen upon them on one of our infrequent trips to town.  (We are over 50 miles away from the nearest big town with a Wal-Mart.)  I took them home and set them up in my south-facing kitchen window, finally repotting them.  We still have a few more weeks of possible frost here, but after Mother’s Day, it’s usually fairly safe to harden off the seedlings and transplant them in the outdoor garden.

The bad luck I’ve had with tomatoes here in our volcanic clay soil aggravates me to no end.  Sometimes I lose the transplants to frost, but more often, they are lost to the withering dry heat and parching wind we experience in waiting for the monsoon rains to come and set everything growing again.  I refuse to give in and continue to try.  One year I got about a dozen green tomatoes that I brought in on the vine and let ripen.  We had those around Thanksgiving that year.  This year the plan is to put half the transplants in the more protected shadehouse/greenhouse I’m working on, and the other half in the front garden.  Maybe I can rig up some little shade houses over them with drip waterers until the rains come…

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A Time For Planting

A blustery day, as Winnie the Pooh would say. This one is supposed to bring us some rain. The baby garden sure needs it. Mrs. D and L’il Homesteader have planted broccoli, tomatoes, onions, potatoes, garlic, carrots, lettuce, and tons more. What with the way the wind’s been blowin’ since the end of March, it’s hard to keep ’em watered. Then there’s the compost heaps, and not to even mention how much the critters drink. Speaking of rain, haven’t started on the gutters yet. Ah well.

The milking machine broke down a few days ago, just when we were really getting to like it. Pulsaters gummed up or something. Grandpa D says that always was a problem with those machines. He is glad he isn’t the one milking cows! Mrs. D will have to wait for mechanically minded male personage to get around to looking at it, dousing it with WD40 hasn’t helped. It is faster to milk by hand anyway, with just 3 ladies.

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