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.
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.