I know Bossy has been doing most of our canning posts, but I'm going to take over her job for tonight. She probably needed a break anyway. Life around here has been running at such a fast pace lately, I'm so glad the little ones are off track to slow it up a bit.
But I digress...
I grew up on stewed tomatoes. My mom would simply warm them on the stove (no microwaves then, remember?!) and we would eat them from a bowl with a spoon. I still enjoy them that way, but none of my kids will touch them, not even Baby Doll and she loves tomatoes.
So our stewed tomatoes get used in chili or spaghetti sauce, anything like that where we want it to be a bit more chunky. We had a pretty good mix of tomatoes this time although my choice is usually to turn the Romas into a nice thick sauce and use the rounder less firm tomatoes for stewing. But this time we stewed them all.
First thing to do is wash the tomatoes. We pour our buckets into the sink and just fill it with cold water. Then we put the tomatoes into a pot of boiling water and watch until the skins split. It usually takes about 45 seconds to a minute.
Then we dump the hot tomatoes into a bowl full of cold water and the skins will slip off with very little effort.
With a paring knife I cut out the core and chop them into quarters for most sizes, but more pieces when the tomatoes are those huge beefsteaks. I press the tomato chunks into clean quart jars that already have 1/4 cup of lemon juice and 1/2 a tsp of salt added.
When the jars are full, I prepare the rings and lids, wipe the tops of the jars and put the lids on.
Then it's into the pressure cooker at 13lbs pressure (in Utah) for 45 minutes. Tomatoes are the only vegetable I know of that can also be processed in a water bath but for double the time.
Tomatoes are a lot of work, but well worth the final product. It's so nice to know exactly what is in the jar.