Tomato Canning Season

August 30, 2012 · 8 comments

I love canning tomatoes. I really do. Even though it is a whole lot of work, it’s a pleasant kind of labor. On my feet, in the zone, up to my elbows in juice and pulp, making a total mess without worrying about when or how I’m going to get it cleaned up. I’ll mop the floor in a month or so when this madness is over.

I got a big box of tomatoes from my mom yesterday. Our own tomatoes have been a little neglected this year due to the fact that Henry’s been working on so many other projects, and I haven’t been much help, but my parents’ garden is coming on amazingly strong. I preserved these tomatoes with the raw-packed method using a boiling water canner. If you’re interested, I wrote up a whole tutorial on Wayward Spark last summer, which you can find here.

Last year, I did up sixty-something quarts, which I think may have been a little extreme. In the end, we only had 12 quarts leftover, so I’m shooting for 40ish this year. I packed and boiled 14 jars today, but for whatever reason, four or five of them didn’t seal, (very frustrating!), so we’ll see how far I get.

I got a blog comment mid-day from the always lovely and talented Mae Chevrette (who recently was featured in O Magazine, which means I internet-know a REAL celebrity!), suggesting I try baking this quiche in my barbecue. Maybe I was a little crazy from a day of canning, so I took up the challenge, making a few tweaks to the recipe. I started with this crust from 101 Cookbooks (my go-to crust, forever and always) and added a bunch of our fresh eggs, some goat milk, rosemary, basil (including a few leaves of purple basil that you can sorta see in the photo), sautéed onion, fresh tomatoes, homemade chévre, salt, pepper, and a couple dashes of red chile flakes (also homemade). I popped it into a preheated barbecue on medium-high for about forty minutes until everything was all golden and bubbly.

It was a deliciously perfect end to a long day.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

dixiebelle August 30, 2012 at 10:19 pm

Yum!

I am going to do Bolognese sauce this year too with my tomatoes, now I have a pressure canner.

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misti August 31, 2012 at 6:19 am

This year was our first time canning tomatoes. we’d done sauce other years. I opened my first jar last week to put into a soup—-and I was so happy once I opened the jars to have made them. I only wish I had more! Next year…

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cynthia August 31, 2012 at 2:56 pm

just finish 44 jars of tomatoes and/or salsa, 6 qts. of peaches, and i’m planning on pickles this weekend. exhausting, but sooooo worth it!

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Brooke August 31, 2012 at 3:47 pm

Wow, the quiche looks amazing and I cannot WAIT to can our tomatoes!

Brooke

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Kate September 2, 2012 at 6:43 am

This weekend is a marathon canning weekend for me, and it feels so good to see all those full jars lined up. But my tomatoes gave me trouble yesterday. My jars all sealed, but so much pulp bubbled up out of the jars that I have my doubts that the seals are really going to hold long term. Now I’m debating reprocessing them with new lids. So frustrating!

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Camille September 3, 2012 at 8:42 pm

In my experience, it’s been really rare that I’ve had trouble with jars that seal up right away. This winter, I maybe found one or two jars that had gone bad without breaking the seal for some unknown reason, but usually, once they’re sealed they’re good for a couple years.

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Sharon September 10, 2012 at 3:37 pm

I’ve canned tomatoes (a quart is perfect for a recipe of chili!) for a number of years and lots of other things too without much trouble except the occasional unsealed jar. For some reason last year I canned tomatoes and peaches at the same time and it was a nightmare! Routinely there was at least one unsealed jar in every batch of 7 (I just got used to saving them up for the last batch and boiling them again) and in each canning session I would lose at least one jar where the bottom would pop and crack off leaving the rest of the jar and the contents floating. It was SO disappointing. I eventually called the Washington State Univ. extension center’s master canning program and asked what the problem could be. They said it can be caused by something as unusal as air pressure or the temperature of the air during that time. They also said to make sure if there is a breeze to make sure your doors and windows near your kitchen are closed when you pull them out of the canner until all the jars in a batch are sealed because a draft can also affect sealing. I have no clue what the problem really was but this year I’ve done lots of quarts of both and all the jars have sealed perfectly with no breakage. Wierd!

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Laura Woodward September 10, 2012 at 9:06 pm

That quiche looks so good! I’m still working on how to get milking goats out here in Tanzania… Cheese is looking really good!

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