Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Tomato Me

Most people I know are trying to save money on groceries since the price of food is continuing to go through the roof. Escalating grocery bills have motivated me to finally take up freezing and canning. From my trip to the U-Pik place, I froze about 30 cups of corn. I froze a few bags of peppers and some zucchini. I dried some jalapenos and cayenne peppers. I had one more major project with which to acquaint myself: the canning of the tomato.

Last Friday H's Aunt Patti came over to help me can my first batch of tomatoes. I was amazed at how easy it was.

First you drop your tomatoes into boiling water. You watch them and as soon as the skins begin to split... drop them into cool water. In our case we filled the sink with cool water and some frozen Sprite bottles.
After the tomatoes have cooled enough to handle, you peel the skins off. This is very easy to do. We used a knife, but you don't cut anything, you just scrape and pull the skins away. You do use your knife to core the tomato and cut out any hard parts from that area.
Then you cut your tomatoes. We cut these into wedges. You put your tomatoes in clean jars, covering the tomatoes with juice. You put a half a teaspoon of salt in each pint jar. Then you put your hot rings and lids on and boil in a water bath for 35 minutes.
Once finished, you have gorgeous tomatoes that you can use in a plethora of dishes.
If you feel the need to can tomatoes for the first time, please do not use this post as your instructions. I have found a site that is an excellent source for putting up your own food. It is UGA's Center for Home Food Preservation site. It is easy to use and has a wealth of information. Who knew you could freeze avocado?

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