My friend Heather husband's family owns a tomato farm in Kingsburg. They sell their crop at the various farmers markets up and down the state. This particular week there was a glitch-and 25 flats went unsold. We decided it would be fun to can-not knowing how to can tomatoes.
We finally figured out what we were doing-half way into the first day of canning. It was a messy, sometimes sticky job, but it was fun trying to figure out something new.
We heated water, boiled the tomatoes, and the peels came right off.
Lots of tomatoes that had been boiled, and are ready to get peeled.
Girl talk kept us sane.
Another batch of tomatoes goes in the pot.
Rebecca sucked on the tomato peels while we were at work. Gross-but she was a happy camper.
Canning approximately 16 flats of tomatoes (the rest were either spoiled beyond use, or given to others who wanted to can them) took the three of us two days to complete. Children were underfoot-and not necessarily in the way, but were around while it took place. Maybe it wouldn't have taken as long without them-but the kids helped, they played, it was a summertime activity to do together. My share, once we were finished, was two large containers of tomato juice, ready to can, and 12 quart sized jars of tomato sauce. Triple that, and that's how much we made. It was a lot of fun, but I think we're all done with tomatoes for awhile.
Last Monday we went back to Heather's home and canned peaches. This time we had six women, and five flats of peaches. The whole process went incredibly fast-it took us four hours to jar 39 quarts and 24 pints of spiced peaches. My take home from that venture was another 10 jars of peaches.
I'm already running low on jars-we've used a few containers of jam-but they have been reused somewhere else-more fruit, more jam, more sauce. I have a flat of cherry tomatoes I'm in the process of freezing for use this winter-not sure if I'll can them/make salsa/use them whole in recipes, but at least freezing them keeps them from being unusable.
A friend posted a picture of freezer jam she made, and referred to being like Martha (Stewart). I had to reply: