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Canning tomatoes - Backyard Grocery
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Canning tomatoes


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susan's canned tomatoes

Ta-da! My first ever batch of canned tomatoes.

I have officially become someone who cans food, if canning 4 quarts and 2 cups of tomatoes counts. I know this isn’t yet the week for small batch preserving on the SOLE challenge, but the veggies are ready when the veggies are ready!

Canning tomatoes was a big deal for me because I grew up in a home where my mother was TERRIFIED of home preserves. Actually, she didn’t like anything canned because of her fear of botulism. In fact, the entire time I was canning, I heard her voice saying (this is a bad idea, you’ll get botulism). So making the decision to do it is a big deal for me.

me canning tomatoes

Me having fun filling the jars with my lovely tomatoes.

However, my garden is totally out of control and even with giving half of our produce away, we still have more tomatoes and tomatillos than we can possibly eat. So. My friend Karen offered to bring over her canning equipment (for the water bath method) and walk me through my first time. Which was good because she did a few things that I hadn’t quite grasped needed doing when I was ready all the instructions (specifically in how she prepped the jars). I felt very domestic and cool, although Karen did the hard parts—anything involving the jars in the water. I did try to remove one of the quarts when it was done and dropped the grabber in the pot. Karen fished it out and finished the job for me. She’s very patient.

So now I have my first batch of canned tomatoes, which I may or may not ever eat. Although we did everything correctly, I’m a little terrified of them. I don’t feel the lids have quite the deep divots they should have to indicate proper sealing. But since I don’t know what they really should look like, I’m not sure I’m the right judge. I’m going to coerce a friend to come over today and look at them.

However, I will try and try again until I get it right. I have plenty of material to work with.

I’m not going to post the recipe or process here. We followed the guidelines for tomatoes as posted on the Ball web site.


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7 Responses to Canning tomatoes

  • Victoria says:

    Sweet. Me too. Kudos to you for getting a jump on it. I hope to can crushed tomatoes sometime in Aug or September. I received a pressure canner as a gift…I need to muster the courage to try it!

  • J. Searcy says:

    Congrats and great job!!! I think you will find that although botulism is a true risk, its rare and there are ways to tell if your canned items have gone bad upon opening. There is a really good overview on canning in a book called “Sweet and Tart”….also the blog Food In Jars, http://www.foodinjars.com/, is a really good resource.

    • Susan says:

      thanks for the foodinjars reference. I’m not really worried…I know you can tell when things are bad. It’s just funny the things/fears we pick up from our parents and can’t shake. I have no idea why my mother was so paranoid about it (and since she is deceased, I can’t ask). She was psycho insane on the topic though.

  • Angela says:

    Wow! Nice job, I’ve never canned anything and find the process a little intimidating. How nice that your friend came over to help. 🙂 All that work will be so worth it in 6 months when you’re enjoying tomatoes from your garden!

    • Susan says:

      It was much easier than I thought. There was a speed issue I hadn’t factored in, but that’s all. It was actually very fun. I may try some berry preserves for hubby since he eats them every day. Of course, I should have thought of that during strawberry season. urgh. next year.

  • Congrats! Job well done. I am so happy to have canned a few things when growing up and again in my 20’s. So happy to do doing more and more now. It’s such a great way to use all the veggies that are coming in so fast for you right now. You will be happy you spent the time come winter when the snow is flying.

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