We’d only been talking about doing it for, I don’t know, five or so years. Canning tomatoes. Preserving that bright, acidic summertime flavor for purely homemade sauce all winter long. Canned tomatoes are one of the few processed items we buy anymore — our utter dependence on Friday night pizzas requires some decent tomatoes, even in February.
When I got the email last week from our CSA that canning tomatoes were starting to ripen, I jumped. Now was our chance. Last Friday, out in the field, I picked about twenty pounds of beautiful red plum tomatoes. My parents, who had come to visit and to spend an evening at Tanglewood, were put into service. We scrubbed the kitchen. We ran the quart jars through the diswasher. We boiled up water in the biggest pot we could find.
We finally canned tomatoes.
And though we weren’t around to hear the delightful little ping of the jar lids making their final seal, when we checked them in the morning, they looked great and seemed sealed. It was all I could do to keep from cracking them open then and there.
Canned tomatoes! I can’t believe we did it.
Now I wonder why we waited so long. It was easy, and even fun. We used the recipe from Storey’s Put ‘Em Up for canned whole tomatoes. You can also download a PDF of the USDA’s entire canning guide at foodsaving.com — or just download the tomatoes section.
Go on, try it.