The lazy way to preserve tomatoes
I would not typically describe myself as a lazy person, but as someone obsessed with efficiency. To spend hours canning a meager amount of anything is always so disheartening. Back in the good ole' days community members would meet at the local grange hall (like a rural folks community center) or go from farm to farm and everyone would pitch in and put up (ie can) their harvest together. It was a social event and also a way to preserve food for the coming winter. Now I have four tomato plants- three cherry tomatoes and one roma tomato. I love canned tomatoes and roma are by far the best variety for canning because of their low water content and general meatiness. However, with ONE tomato plant I had to wait until a good amount were ripe before I was going to waste my time canning them. This last week it was finally time and below you will find my simple, time effective, still totally sanitary method of canning tomatoes.
Super easy canned tomatoes.
Canning jars & lids
Boiling water bath canner
Mesh collapsible strainer
Bottled lemon juice
1. Fill the canner 3/4 of the way full with water. Put empty, lidless jars in canner. Bring to a boil.
2. After the jars have boiled for about 10 minutes or so, remove and place on a clean towel.
3. Put lids and rings into the the strainer and lower into the canner for 10 minutes, remove and set on the towel with the jars. (I used a long handled wooden spoon across the canner here to hold the handles so I didnt have to)
4. Fill a clean sink with cold water and ice.
5. Working in batches, put the tomatoes in the basket lower the tomatoes into the boiling water, remove when the skin begins to crack and place in the sink.
6. Continue this process until you have gone through all the tomatoes.
7. Peel the skin of the tomatoes and stuff them into jars (leaving a 1/2 inch headspace), using a wooden spoon to aid with the stuffing, until all of your tomatoes have been stuffed.
8. Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 tsp salt to each quart jar, half as much for pints.
9. Using your small spatula work out the airbubbles by running the spatula down the insides of each jar. Wipe any tomato bits off the rim with a paper towel or clean dishtowel.
10. Place on the lid and tighten the ring.
11. Arrange jars onto the canner basket thingie and lower into boiling water. The water should be about 1-2 inches above the lids.
12. Process for 45 minutes.
13. Remove jars one at a time using the canning tongs and place lid side down on a dish towel to cool.
14. Label your jars and wait for winter.
You can do as many as you want! And even though it still take a long time, most of the time is spent waiting for the water to boil or for processing once they are in the jars. I just did other activities during these times.
What you have after this is (mostly) whole, peeled tomatoes that can be turned into a soup, cooked down into a sauce or paste, or eaten straight outta the jar (although they probably wouldn't taste that awesome).