Jerseygator's Blog


More tomatoes?

Posted in Cooking,Garden,Music by jerseygator on September 2, 2009
Tags: , ,
Darrol doing the heavy lifting... prepping the tomatoes

Darrol doing the heavy lifting... prepping the tomatoes

It’s the beginning of September and for the last few weeks we have processed tomatoes every few days.  Mostly we just eat them or cook with them, but my husband has become very creative.  He has canned some incredible salsas, tomato sauces for pasta, and today we’re once again canning crushed tomatoes.  You may remember that I used both crushed tomatoes and leftover salsa in the short rib recipe last night.  (BTW, the short ribs were good… very flavorful.  However, next time I’ll cook them much slower, perhaps in a crock pot, or pressure cook them.  Then I’ll let them sit overnight so that I can skim off some of the fat.  Can’t do that today, as they were devoured by the family and are gone.)

So, back to the ‘maters.  After scoring them then dipping them into boiling water for a few moments, Darrol plunges them into an ice bath.  Then is the labor intensive part… Darrol skins and seeds each tomato leaving clean sections.  My turn comes next.  I crush the clean tomatoes with my hand into a large heavy-bottom pot and boil them for about 5 minutes.  The glass jars are sterilized by simply dipping them into boiling water and some salt and ascorbic acid is added to the bottom of the jar; the crushed tomatoes are ladled on top to about 1/2 inch of lip.  Seals and rings added, then the tomatoes are water-bathed for 40 minutes… a long but easy process as far as canning goes.

The crushed tomatoes are used in any recipe that calls for a can of tomatoes.  We just get them from the garden instead of Target.  Tomatoes are the most gratifying garden product, in my opinion.  They are pretty easy to grow, especially in NJ, they’re prolific, and you can do so much with them.  Now I just have to figure out what to do with the millions of banana peppers I’m harvesting today.

PS… with the juice left from the tomato prep I made a homemade tomato soup.  Wow!  I had never “made up” a recipe before, at least not one that turned out delicious.  We had the soup for lunch with parmesan cheese and tortilla chips.  🙂

Today’s background music: iTunes shuffle.  Carole King, Collective Soul, Alan Parson’s Project, Simon & Garfunkel, Helen Reddy, ELO.  Heavy 70’s rotation this morning.

From a hot water bath to a cold water bath for easy skin removal

From a hot water bath to a cold water bath for easy skin removal

Nothing like getting your hands dirty when you cook!

Nothing like getting your hands dirty when you cook!

Into prepped jars...

Into prepped jars...

A good morning's work

A good morning's work

I must be learning something!  Soup made from tomato juice leftovers

I must be learning something! Soup made from tomato juice leftovers

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