It's that time of year again... the tomatoes are ready to be picked at all our local farmer's fields.
(this is my mom)
Since my parents are visiting, I took advantage and hauled the kids into the van (and parents too) and off we went to my favourite U-pick Farm. My mom knows the best tomatoes to pick.
(S found a funky looking tomatoe)
The rest of my plan back fired though. After we picked the tomatoes, I was hoping, my mom would help with prepping and jaring all the tomatoes. Nope... didn't happen. My dad ended up getting into a small accident and wrecking the rental car and had to drive back to my sister's house (1 1/2 hours away) to file a report and return the rental car and getting a new one. hmmmmpppphhh.... So I ended up doing everything myself.
Just a warning... for anyone reading that KNOWS what they are doing,
I would suggest leaving this blog NOW.
Legal Disclaimer: I am an amateur canner/jarer, although I've been 'helping' for a long time.
So here's what I DO.
Step 1: Wash all the tomatoes. I washed mine in my laundry tub.
Step 2: Peel and de-seed and chop tomatoes.
I peel them by boiling for a 1 minute and then plunging in ice water.
(Sorry no pics of that step.)
Step 4 : I add 2 tblsp course salt, 1 tsp fresh ground pepper and about 3 Bay leaves.
And Boil for about 1 hour on medium low, stirring ocassionally.
Step 5: Wash Jars, and put in oven at 200 degrees for 20 minutes to sterilize. (I forgot to take pic)
And prep lids according to package instructions.
Prep your area. Make sure you have everything you need before you start the canning part.
Step 6: I was told a long time ago to use only plastic or glass when packing the jars. (can't remember reason)
Step 7: I throw in a couple pieces of sliced sweet red pepper and couple leaves of basil half way through my jar.
Step 8: Place lid on jar and your screw band over lid to finger tip tight.
(Not too tight, or else you'll have a hard time getting the screw band off later
when you want to use your sauce)
I know it sounds kind of bland, but I use this sauce as my base for other sauces throughout the year, by adding my veggies, and garlic and other spices. That way I can have variety.
Note: We picked 1 bushel and it yielded 9 of the large jars at a cost of $10. I had everything but the tomatoes.
( I wait to hear the 'pop' of the lid and then I let the jars rest on a towel
on my counter for about 24 hours or so)
So have you visited your local market and what are you canning this year?
I'm linking up to some of these parties