CANNING TOMATOES, CELEBRATING AND GRIEVING THE END OF THE SEASON
Garden fresh tomatoes are so full of flavor, and I believe I have picked my last juicy red ones from my garden for this year.
The last ones.
In Illinois we will have frost in October that will soon kill the plants. Thankfully, I’ll still be able to pick some kale, beets, leeks, and I’m still waiting on my Brussel sprouts to finish getting just a tad bigger. While I love the break from the garden and yard work, I grieve the end of summer almost every year.
My heart and body are blessed by being out doors, planting a garden and watching it grow, and feeding my family homegrown food. Our children learn the work involved for growing food and hopefully an appreciation of God’s creation that feeds us even from our small plot of dirt.
SO HERE ARE SOME LAST LOOKS AT THE GARDEN AND IT’S FLEETING YET APPEALING ABUNDANCE...
Kids helping pick the veggies
Kids in the summer garden
The kids have learned to recognize plants and to pick the vegetables when they are ripe. How to find the right herbs when I’m cooking and call out for someone to quick grab some cilantro, basil or parsley for our meal.
Fall time Garden Harvest
Kale, cucumbers, beets, tomatoes…
When growing tomatoes or buying from the farmers market you can end up with a bucket load of tomatoes.
We grew tomatoes for making sauce and paste since we use canned tomatoes for many of our dishes.
You can always freeze them for a fast fix, so they won’t go to waste, or try your hand at canning.
You could even try it with a friend to share supplies and wisdom.
You’ll need clean- sterilized canning jars: submerged in boiling water for five minutes.
One quart size jar for every three pounds of tomatoes.
Metal rings and brand new lids for each time you can.
A Deep stock pot.
Super helpful tools: A funnel and jar lifter.
Salt 1t. per quart +/-
Lemon juice, bottled 2 T. per quart canning jar.
If you’d like the skins removed here is the super easy method I have used from Food in Jars.
Have the stock pot just about full of boiling water and put in jars and lids with rings.
The jars need to be hot so they don’t crack when you can the tomatoes.
I use a steamer basket in my pot to give a barrier from too much heat at the bottom of the jars.
Carefully remove jars from pot, and empty out any water back into the pot.
Put lemon juice in bottom of each jar.
Chop up tomatoes and put into hot jars leaving one inch of head-room, sprinkle salt on top.
Then make sure you get out air bubbles and wipe rims clean.
Screw on lids and rings and gently put into stock pot of boiling water.
Make sure water covers all jars by at least an inch.
Boil for 40-45 minutes.
Carefully lift out jars upright and set on towels and then cover with another towel to cool slowly and dry up water on top.
After cooling, lids should be concave (no popping when pressed).
You can process a second time if the lid didn’t seal.
I also made some marinara sauce, with fresh basil, but you must keep it acidic enough with extra salt and lemon juice for safety.