Canning Tomatoes

Well, I have to tell you about my first try at canning tomatoes all by myself.  Joel and I had talked about getting some tomatoes and canning them; but when I get something in my head to do, I generally jump right in and try to do it myself.  Sometimes it works and other times, I totally fail.  But I never give up trying.

Last Friday, I decided to check out this produce stand not too far from my house to see if they had any good tomatoes for canning.  Just my luck – they did.  They had some really pretty tomatoes there but I thought about how much those tomatoes would cost me.  So, I walked around a bit, and, lo-and-behold, I found some tomatoes in baskets.  I asked the girl who worked there how much the baskets cost and she said $5.  The baskets held about 15 pounds of tomatoes, really ripe tomatoes.  But of course I wanted those and she even let me top off the basket and still only charged me $5.  I have to say that the basket itself was worth more than five bucks so I really got a bargain.

I got the tomatoes home and took them out of the basket because some of them had some bad spots and I was afraid that if I left them in the basket, they would ruin and maybe ruin some of the other tomatoes.

Bright and early Saturday morning, I got all my jars and lids ready, and then I started peeling and cutting the tomatoes. By the time I finished that, I was up to my elbows in tomato peelings and the bad spots that I cut out were beginning to smell pretty rank.  I got the tomatoes in the jars, processed the jars and waited for them all to seal.  Yes, they all sealed.

I had also bought some golden delicious apples at the produce stand so I could make some cranapple butter.

So, on Monday morning, I peeled my apples and cooked them in cranberry juice (boy did my house smell good).  When the apples were softened, I put them in the food processor, then put them back in the pan with cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar and cooked that until it thickened.  Once the mixture was thick enough, I put them in the jars and processed them.  And, once again, they all sealed.  I had a little bit left and put it in the refrigerator.  I tried it on a biscuit and I’m here to tell you, it is good eatin’.

I have to give Joel credit for getting me interested in preserving food.  He and Amanda have canned some meat and made some other goodies.  We have made plans to make some other treats too.  I can’t wait!

While I’m really enjoying doing all of this, it’s also bringing back some wonderful memories of when my mom and Mawdie used to can and freeze straight from the garden.

See ya next Wednesday.