Sabtu, 01 Oktober 2011

So much of our future lies in preserving our past.

I normally can my tomatoes using the water bath method.  I decided to try pressure canning because . .. well, just because.

You will need about 20 lbs of tomatoes make 7 quarts . . . 7large tomatoes will fill one quart jar . . . and lemon juice - fresh or bottled(about 1/2 cup)

Make sure you sanitize your jars and lids to prevent moldand fungus contamination which will obviously ruin all your hard work.  Imagine the disappointment when you go for ajar of tomatoes to make a fresh pot of pasta sauce and it’s all yucky. 

The dishwasher is fine for the jars; especially if it has a"sanitize" cycle or submerge the jars in a large pot (the canneritself) of water and bring it to a boil. Put the lids into the small pot ofboiling water for at least several minutes. 
 Fill the canner about1/2 full of water and start it heating (with the lid loosely on).

Blanch the tomatoes by placing them, a few at a time, in alarge pot of boiling water for no more than 1 minute (30 - 45 seconds isusually enough) and then immerse them into a waiting bowl of ice water.  This makes the skins slide right off of thetomatoes!  Then cut the tomatoes in quartersand remove the tough part around the stem and any bruised or soft parts.

Fill the jars with the cut tomatoes to within ¼-inch of thetop with the tomatoes.  Using a flatplastic or wood utensil (like a plastic spoon, up side down) free trapped airbubbles by gently sliding it up and down around the inside edge.

Add 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice and enough liquid to fill to1/2 inch of the top of the jar.

Wipe the lip of the jars with a towel dipped in vinegar to keepany contamination from preventing a good seal.

Put the lids and rings on. Screw them on snugly, not too tight. 

Put the jars in the pressure canner.  Put the lid on and screw it down . . . thereshould be about 3 inches of boiling water in bottom of the canner . . . do notput the weight on yet

Let the canner vent steam for 10 minutes. Keep the waterboiling.

After venting, put the weight on (or close the valve) andlet it heat up and build pressure to the pressure for your type of pressurecanner.  Mine is 5 pounds.  Then process the jars for 15 minutes

Remember to adjust the time if you are at a differentaltitude other than sea level!

Lift the jars out of the water and let them cool withouttouching or bumping them in a draft-free place (usually takes overnight)  You can then remove the rings if you like.Once the jars are cool, you can check that they are sealed verifying that thelid has been sucked down. Just press in the center, gently, with your finger.If it pops up and down (often making a popping sound), it is not sealed. If youput the jar in the refrigerator right away, you can still use it.

Now, just store them in a cool, dark place and use them asneeded over the next year!

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