Tomato Preserving 2013

There is still time. Every year I take notes, but never feel like I get them done in time to publish this. Because when I started canning, recipes that list things like “12 cups of chopped tomato” aren’t very helpful while I’m at the market trying to buy the correct amount. Also, I tend to lose paper notes. But I hope someone finds this helpful.

Last week (8/25) I bought a 20 lb box of organic roma tomatoes. And throughout the week I worked on processing them with a friend of mine. They sat until Tuesday, at which point I took them out of the box and put them in a single layer* on three sheet pans (two half-sheets and one jelly-roll). On Wednesday I blanched and chopped 12 pounds in preparation for 2 batches of salsa (I divided these as I went). On Thursday I chopped everything else for those two batches, then cooked and processed one batch. On Friday I cooked and processed the second batch. And now its Sunday night and I started oven-dried tomatoes (4 1/8 lbs fit on my jelly roll pans that fit in my small oven). Sometimes starting a canning project can be daunting so I break it into chunks (a tip from Food in Jars blog). I had friends staying with me so we tried to fit canning amongst about-the-town and entertain-the-kiddos time. Another friend of mine powered through her box in one night.

Salsa pic

The short notes

  • 6 lbs tomatoes becomes 12 cups of tomatoes becomes 7 pints of Spicy Tomato Salsa from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.  I seeded 2 jalapenos, used 4 with seeds, I used 1/2 cup of the dried-chile water to puree. Initial taste tests suggest an extra spicy version this year.
  • 5 lbs tomatoes becomes 10 cups of tomatoes becomes 5 pints of House Tomato Salsa from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. I used 5 jalapenos with seeds instead of the green bell pepper and hot sauce. Initial taste tests suggest an extra spicy version this year.
  • 4 lbs tomatoes on their way to oven-dried goodness. This gets stored in the freezer – I highly recommend having these to perk up fall, winter, spring and early summer meals.
  • approximately 3 lbs haven’t met their fate yet.
  • We probably ate a pound with meals.

* This box came home on the under ripe side. Last year a lost several tomatoes because they went bad in the box and contaminated other tomatoes (“one rotten apple spoils the bunch” has merit) so this year I spread everything out. Keeping them on sheet pans made it easy to move as we dealt with other cooking tasks (like blackberry jam and dinner).

And now this week I came home from the market with 10 lbs of tomatillos. Salsa verde is in my near future. And next week I plan to split a 20 lb box of romas with a friend.

September 1, 2013. Tags: , , . preserving. 5 comments.

Salsa 2010 notes

We purchased 15 lbs of canning tomatoes and 1 pint basket of jalapenos for our salsa canning adventure.

After pouring over countless recipes, worrying about vinegar versus lemon juice and the wide range of vinegar additions (necessary due to the questionable acidity level of the tomatoes combined with the low-acid peppers, onions and other salsa additions) we settled on Spicy Tomato Salsa (page 205) from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving edited by Judi Kingry and Lauren Devine.

Some things we want to remember: Our 15 lbs of tomatoes yielded 21 cups of diced tomatoes (after blanching, peeling and coring). We used 12 cups for the salsa and froze the remaining in 2 cups increments. We used 4 chile negros and 5 guajillo chiles for the the dried chiles in the salsa and left the seeds in one jalapeno. Our yield was 8 pints and 1 half-pint. (I’ve yet to have a spot-on yield from this book.)

It took like 2 1/2 hours to go from raw, unprepped ingredients to salsa in a pot. Another 30 or 40 minutes to bring it to a boil. And finally 3 hours 45 minutes from starting (or maybe 3 hours 15 minutes) the filled cans are in the canning pot.

September 3, 2011. Tags: , , , . preserving. Leave a comment.