Monday, August 22, 2011

Gonna can me some 'mator sauce!

I've planted only 12 tomato plants, then just planted another 5 (we'll see how they do), and a few are producing pretty well, including the Romas.  My Yellow Boy has only produced one mator that the bugs got to before me, grrr.  But, alas, I have a large colander full of yummy ripe tomatoes, so I'm gonna make a small batch of tomato sauce.  I hate when I get so few tomatoes at one time, because by the time I save up for a large batch, the first ones are going bad, so I'll be making small batches at a time.  What I like about this recipe is, you can apply it to however many tomatoes as you have.  I got this new EASY recipe at Heavenly Homemakers, and believe it or not, it calls for NO blanching (thank goodness!).  Check out her fast, easy recipe.  Then all you do is boil bath it for 20-25 min.  The only thing she doesn't say is that citric acid should be added, which I agree, however, she also mentions that you can add other veggies to the sauce if you want...the problem with this is:  if you add veggies to the sauce, you MUST add additional citric acid, seriously.  If you decide to add other veggies (although some say it's at that time you should pressure cook rather than boil water bath it), those veggies will add volume to which the acid from the tomatoes won't be able to SAFELY accommadate, which can actually possibly KILL someone from botulism poisoning.  So, note this please, for safety reasons...adding extra citric acid won't hurt the recipe, but not adding it, could kill someone, so if you add other veggies to your recipe (not spices, but veggies) ADD CITRIC ACID.  Otherwise, if you're only using the tomatoes, consider adding citric acid only if you're using hybrid tomatoes.  If you're growing your own HEIRLOOM tomatoes, the acidic levels are higher than common modern-day hybrid tomatoes, so citric acid shouldn't be needed, but it never hurts to add it if you want.  If you don't know what your tomatoes are, don't take someone's word for it, be on the safe side and just add the citric acid. 

Citric acid:  you can pick this up in the canning aisle at the store OR you can go the super easy route and add about 1 tsp per quart jar amt of LEMON JUICE to your recipe.

I've been thinking about stripping my mator plants of their green mators and either making some chow chow or relish or something...hmmm.  I grew no fruits this year.  Hmmmm, now I've got the hankerin' to make some jelly...guess I'll head to the market and get some juice to make me some!

Do ya'll can??? what's your favorite veggie to can?  your favorite EASY canning recipe (grape jelly doesn't count, lol)?

preserving food at home

Did you know that the National Center for Food Preservation offers a FREE online course on learning the basics of canning???  If you're new to canning OR if you're old school but want and need to learn the safety of the newer canning standards (such as open kettle method and oven canning is not safe and is not authorized as such any longer), then you can check it out and sign-up for it here, it's called Preserving Food at Home: A Self-Study.


meemsnyc said...

I have about 75 tomato plants, and 3 got a disease so I had to pull them. The others only have a few tomatoes per plant, so even though we have so many plants, I have less tomatoes than I hoped. Grrrr. Next year I have to add a lot more compost!

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