Friday, August 22, 2008

Canning Class 101

I grow Roma Tomatoes for sauce making. They are a small meaty tomato that cooks down nicely. Making sauce is easy, but time consuming. First, I add the washed tomatoes to a boiling pot of water. I let them sit there for just a minute or so then I quickly take them out. This allows the skins to pop off of the tomatoes. I always take the skin off because my food mill is just a cheapy and it won't handle all the skins and seeds. It is a good idea to let the tomatoes cool a bit before trying to handle them!
See how the skins just pop away from the tomato. I cut the top off and the skin comes right off the tomato.
Next I fill a large pan with the tomatoes. There will be enough liquid from the tomatoes themselves that there is usually no need to add more. I let them cook on medium until the tomatoes are soft. This takes about an hour. Watch and stir the tomatoes some so they don't stick.
If I want to make a flavored sauce for pizza or spaghetti, I add chunks of green peppers, onion, and minced garlic. I let these cook with the tomatoes for flavor.
Next, it is time to run the cooked tomatoes through the food mill. The seeds will remain in the top, and the juice will flow through the bottom.I use my stainless steel mixing bowl because my food mill fits it perfectly.
I then take the good juice and put it back in my large pot. If I want a flavored sauce, I will add oregano, basil, italian seasoning, crushed red peppers, sugar, and salt to my sauce. I will cook it until it becomes the thickness I want. This takes time. It may take several hours so be prepared to stir throughout the day.
Following the instructions in my Ball Blue Book, I add some lemon juice to each jar. I put my sauce in a water bath to finish the canning process.
If you are interested in canning, I have found the Ball Blue Book to be the best source for information. It is not expensive and it is usually available at Walmart. Our store keeps them with the canning supplies. Happy Canning!!!
grace and peace,


Marci said...

It looks good Julie. Since it is just me, I usually end up puree-ing the whole tomatoes and then canning that. I have to cook it down or make the sauces later after canning season.

TnFullQuiver said...

That is a great idea!!! Thanks.
grace and peace,