The Little Blogger who Can… Can.

This weekend was when we hit a lot of milestones – I had three ripe butternut squash sitting on the counter and more than 11 pounds of tomatoes in the freezer, so I decided to take the kitchen that Husband so lovingly cleaned and cover it in canning equipment and tomato guts. I also did some cooking and roasting of butternut squash, but I’ll save that for another day.

I knew I was starting at a disadvantage with the whole canning process, because I had too large jars and too small a pot, but I managed to fit 3 jars into my pot at a time, which was good. I cooked down the tomatoes with a little water for hours, maybe 3? because I hadn’t taken the skins off or cut them up much to begin with. I figure, when I want to use the sauce, I can chop up the sauce a little in the food processor if I don’t want it chunky. Then it was the old standby: clean jars and lids, sanitize jars and lids, add sauce, put lids on to finger tight, and process for whatever amount of time multiple blogs say is right (45 minutes was the consensus for mine).

For my first batch, I forgot the lemon juice until I realized they were already processing with the lids on, so I decided those would get used in the next couple of weeks and could live in the fridge. No one said your first canning experiment is perfect. But for the second batch, I mixed in tablespoons of lemon juice to get the acidity up and I think that will be enough. I really recommend following some old-school directions (from a box of mason jars, or from a canning cookbook) on this – there are so many steps in the process that could introduce germs/bacteria/something else into your tomatoes that it’s good to follow to the letter. I would prefer to throw more tomatoes into my next few meals than to save them all winter and find them moldy or full of poisonous substances.

Overall, I see the accomplishment people get from canning, but I also understand the impulse to just give away ripe tomatoes if you have too many, so that others can enjoy the garden flavors. It really isn’t a money saver, at least not this first year, but I liked the sense of accomplishment on what was otherwise a pretty lazy Sunday for me.

 

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15 comments on “The Little Blogger who Can… Can.

  1. Well done! and your title made me giggle 🙂

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  2. Lissa Dobbs says:

    I used to make strawberry and pear preserves every year. You’re right, though, about it not being a money saver. It’s not too bad after you acquire the jars. Good for you for getting it done. I kinda miss it.

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  3. I’ve frozen about 50 lbs. of tomatoes and I’ll be doing my canning when I’m not so exhausted from caring for the garden. It’s always best to follow a reliable recipe for canning since so many blogs and sites have less than safe methods. Since even safe recipes sometimes change a good site you can trust is:https://www.freshpreserving.com/recipes/ It’s the Ball site and who would know more about canning than the “Mason jar” people?

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  4. Christina Nifong says:

    Tomatoes are pretty much the only thing we can these days (relying on the freezer for most everything else). A quart of homemade marinara is hard to beat! Enjoy yours. We can about 36 quarts every summer, give a few away at Christmas and eat the rest.

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  5. Patrick says:

    I’ve canned pickles from garden grown cucumbers. On the way back to Cleveland from North Carolina, we’ve picked up a half bushel of peaches. I made six (I think) pints of a peach BBQ sauce, and canned quarts of peaches with the rest. The appreciation really sets in in the middle of winter, when you have tasty peaches for your cereal, and you know all the ingredients are good!

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  6. MJ says:

    I grew several tomato plants this Summer and never thought about canning them. I may be trying it this Winter with persimmons.

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  7. Ladybuggz says:

    I make Blackberry/plum jam every year, a few years ago I canned lots of plums…..I’m still affaid to open them! LOL..

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  8. There is satisfaction in canning-and in doing it the old fashioned way. I have also learned to consult the almanac because weather sometimes affects the process. I always heard my grandmother say that and thought she was kidding-NOT. I also learned that there are ‘non-planting days’ for vegetables. I planted an entire garden one year and had TONS of blooms but not one vegetable. Theres something to it I tell ya 🙂 Great job on your tomatoes.

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  9. That sounds like my first canning experiment. I made a peach bbq sauce, and the largest pot I had was too small for the jars I bought. It was an interesting experience, but I think I’ll have to get a bigger pot and try it again. I never did try it again, but I fantasize about doing so from time to time.

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  10. Meiji Zapico says:

    That title already got me. Lol! And I think I wanna try canning too. Hmm, all that’s left is the question, *what* will I can anyway?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. arlingwoman says:

    I love canning. It’s so satisfying and once you have the jars, not really expensive. I also save jars during the course of the winter that will fit my rings and lids. Good for you!! Keep up the preserving. It’s so nice in the winter to taste and remember your summer!

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  12. For me what you did is an accomplishment already,soon you will perfect the process…..you will soon just be smiling on your mistakes.i wish you are my neighbor so I get all the freebies!!!

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  13. Too funny ‘tomato guts’ after hubby cleaned. Glad you tried it. Have you thought about drying in a food drier. I’ve used it for mangoes, strawberries, bananas etc., I’m not saying it will work. Just thought drying and then add oil, like sundried tomatoes could work.

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  14. dulcedemango says:

    This makes me excited to start canning! This year will be my first. I wish I could have done tomatoes, but I’ll be doing applesauce instead.

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  15. Hooked by the title. I have been thinking of getting back into serious cooking and you just added fire to that, as this brought back memories.

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