Tomatoes

Tomatoes were a staple food in our house. They could be found almost daily on the dinner table in some form, whether simply sliced or cooked in a dish. 

One entire cabinet in our kitchen was designated to store the ones we canned ourselves. 

There are many canning methods to choose from. The method used by our family involved completely cooking the tomatoes before placing them in the jars.

The process is time consuming but well worth the effort. The jars and lids will need to be ready for use when the cooking is finished as the jars seal best when everything is still hot. If a jar does not seal it will spoil.

Sterilize the jars:

Thoroughly wash and rinse the jars that will be used in canning. Place in a large pot and completely cover with water at least 2 inches over the top of the jars. Boil the jars on medium heat for 2-3 minutes to sterilize the jars. remove from water and place upside down on clean wire rack to drain water until needed.

Jar lids:

Place the lids and rings in a small pot and cover with water. Heat on the stove over medium low heat. Keep lids and rings hot until ready to place on jars so they will seal properly.

Tomatoes:

Allow approximately 2 1/2 - 3 lbs or 9 medium tomatoes to make 1 quart.

4 teaspoons sugar per quart can be added but is not essential.

1 bushel or 48 to 50 lbs equals approximately 22 quarts.

4 cups sugar per bushel can be added but is not essential.

Always pick ones that are fully ripe without any blemishes or soft spots. 

Wash completely clean and remove stems.

Place in wire basket and dip in boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes or until skin slips. Remove from water.

Dip into cold water. 

Strip off skin and remove core.

Cut into desired size pieces placing in a large pot for cooking. Add sugar if desired.

Seeds can be removed if desired.

To Remove Seeds: Take a small spoon and gently scoop out seeds into a colander placed over a bowl. Discard the seeds and use the juice in the cooking process.

Over medium heat, bring tomatoes slowly to a boil. Boil uncovered for approximately 30 minutes. Stir gently occasionally. No water should need to be added.

Ladle into hot sterilized jars. Leave 1 inch headspace at top of jar. 

Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt in each quart sized jar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in each sized jar before sealing the lid.

Wipe jar rim clean.

Remove lid and ring from hot water and place on jar. Tighten well.

After sitting for several minutes the lid should pop as it seals.

Jars that have a broken seal or have separated or discolored should not be used.

It is often said that the heart of a home is the kitchen.

I know that the bonds between myself, my mother and grandmother grew strong and many life lessons were passed down while we worked side by side in the kitchen.

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