Sunday, September 6, 2009

Winter is Coming. . .

Hi everyone,
So today we started "putting food by" for the winter, as well as stacking wood for the winter to burn in our new wood stove(!!!).  Our friends Garet and Carolyn picked up 30lbs of tomatoes from the local farm stand that were considered "seconds," although we couldn't figure out why they were "seconds" they were so beautiful.  So we had a lovely day of old fashioned gender prescribed farm  chores.  Carolyn and my Mom and I spent the the morning in the kitchen while the boys stacked wood.  Canning turns out to be not so hard, actually.  Here's what we did:

First you need to sterilize your jars in boiling water, and get your tools together, which include a large canning pot, jar grabbers, citric acid (so as to not get botulism), knives and cutting boards.  Not to mention your tomatoes, and any herbs you want to include in your jars.  Here you can see we used a little basil and garlic:
Then you need to peel your tomatoes, because canned tomato peels are yucky.  To make this job easier we dipped the tomatoes in a pot of boiling water, and then into cold water, and the peels just slip right off.

Then you have to core and chunk up your tomatoes so they fit nicely into your jars.  Once you squeezed as many tomatoes into your jar as you could, you then fill in the cracks with water, stir the tomatoes around a little to push out any air bubbles, and add 1/4 teaspoon of citric acid powder to each jar.  Then you screw the lids on, but don't tighten them down all the way to allow air to escape when the contents to expand in the hot water.  These jars below are ready to go in the boiling water.
And here they are going in.  And they stay in there for 45 minutes once the water comes back to a boil.

And when they come out you let them cool off slowly at room temperature on dish towels, and you can hear their lids pop as they seal.  Then you tighten down their lids and you are all done.  We made 21 quarts of tomatoes from the 30lbs we started with.  
It was a very lovely and domestic way to spend a beautiful September Sunday.  We really feel quite rural, and we'll be super glad to have these yummy tomatoes to make spaghetti with in freezing freezing February! 

1 comment:

  1. I really want to do this! I wonder if there are things I can can in late October once this crazy work dust settles?