Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Bottomless Bucket of Tomatoes (sigh)

It may never end! Okay, maybe it will, but I'm afraid it won't be this weekend. A batch of spaghetti sauce with meat calls for 30# of tomatoes. I already used approximately 30# from our garden and got 12 pints out of it instead of the 9 that the book says. I have enough left from our garden to do 1 more batch. The neighbors, Brian's aunt and uncle, offered him what was left in their garden. He brought home one basket full that turns out to be just shy of one batch worth - and there is probably one or two more batches left down there. So add that all up and I have a minimum of 3 batches left to do, assuming I get to them before they rot.

The hard part is not the actually canning it is prepping the tomatoes. There are so many different ways to do this but here's what I've been doing:

Put a few tomatoes in boiling water for 30 second to a minute.

Scoop them out and in to a pot of cold water with ice in it.

Pick them out one at time and peel off the skins with my fingers. They slip off quite easily.

I take a knife and cut of the top or scoop out the top and the bit of green inside (it depends, some of the smaller ones don't have much to scoop out).

Then I tear them in half (like an orange) and use my finger to scrape out the seeds. If it is a very small tomato I just squeeze it in my fist to squish out the seeds and liquid.

All the good parts go in a big pot. I feed the rest to the chickens!


Captain's Wife - Jennifer said...

Oh dear! That IS a lot of maters! I didn't get to can any this year because our crop did crappy, and I was dissapointed...but after this post from you, I'll be ok. :) LOL

Farmer's Daughter said...

That's how I prep tomatoes, too. It takes FOREVER!!! And I always end up with tomato juice running down my arms to my elbows and all over the kitchen.

I'm done with tomatoes but planning to start working on apples soon. I found a new recipe for apple cider jelly that I'm dying to try, since you just use the cider instead of cooking and straining the apples. What a time saver!

Anonymous said...

Good luck! I'm going to kick myself this winter when I don't have a pantry full of my crushed tomatoes. I love to use it for sauce...

Jena said...

Jennifer - Lol, well glad I helped you anyway.

FD - You're not kidding, it does take forever. Yeah, I have tomato juice all over the one page in my Ball canning book now. Oh well, it adds character I guess.
I'm on to apples next too. That's the very last thing except for canning some stew and soup. At least with apples I can set everything up in the living room so I can sit while doing it. I stood at the stove doing tomatoes for so long that my feet really hurt! Mmm, I love apple cider.

Julie - You'll have that baby on your mind, you won't be thinking about tomatoes. :) But that is what I keep telling myself, that all this work will be worth it later even though it is lot to do right now.

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