The end of the summer means that it is tomato canning season! My mother and I fill my kitchen with bushels and bushels of fresh plum tomatoes from the farm stands out on the eastern end of Long Island. Every year we process these beauties and then have the most delicious tomato sauce for the entire winter.
Here is the procedure: Step 1, wash the tomatoes.
Step 2-chop them up and heat in a large pot to soften the skins.
Step 3-pour the hot tomatoes through a food mill to remove the skin and seeds. This makes for a sweet and smooth sauce. My mom always gets this job and I am the chopper and heater. She is the one covered in seeds by the end of the morning!
Step 4-heat up the seed free sauce and ladle into sterilized glass quart jars with a teaspoon of salt and citric acid/lemon juice in the bottom. You can also add a basil leaf at this point too.
Step 5-close the jars with a sterilized rubber lid and metal ring.
Step 6-place all jars into the pressure canner out on the deck.
We can fit 14 quarts at a time in this baby! Saves a lot of time.
Step 7-the tomato scraps go into the worm farm. LOL, that is a whole other blog post explaining how these little workers help my garden out!
Step 8-after 15 minutes in the pressure canner, let cool undisturbed overnight and you are good to go! We usually do between 120-150 quarts each season that we split up and have farm fresh delicious tomato sauce all dreary winter long!
Step 9-I almost forgot, this step is the most critical...make a couple of Bloody Mary's at the end of the morning to celebrate finishing all your hard work! Do NOT forget this step!
It is a lot of work to do all of this but we love it! And, if the Zombie Apocalypse ever hits, the basement is stocked with sauce, come on over and we'll have an Italian feast! ;)