Fall

Friday, July 29, 2011

GRANNY'S KITCHEN: Home Canned Tomatoes

First of all, I want you to notice my new canning pot!  I was at a kitchen outlet store in Branson, and bought this 30qt Hamilton Beach stainless steel pot.  It holds 11 quart jars!!  I only have ten here, because that's all the tomatoes I had. How wonderful to get my ten jars done at once instead of in two batches!!  I used to have 2 old porcelain water bath canners, but I wore both of them out -- they sprung leaks in them.
Anyway, this should last quite a while!  It is nice and thick.  For the inside, I put one of my cookie cooling racks. It works fine, although now I will have to buy a new one for my cookies!  I always pour a bit of vinegar in my canner so that the lime doesn't build up on my jars (we have very hard water here, and if you don't do that, the jars come out WHITE because of the lime -- whoever said it takes millions of years for those limestone formations to form in caves has never been to Missouri!!). Anyway, the vinegar was hard on my cooling rack, and rusted it out.  Wonder if I could find some stainless cooling racks??

One gal at the shop where I bought my new pot said that she just puts a towel in the bottom of the pan! I may have to try this. It is just boiling the towel, which won't hurt a thing. And the towel will keep the jars off the bottom of the pan. I should have done that rather than ruin my cooling rack!

Also notice that I DID can on my electric glass stove. It did work. It just seems to take a while to get the water boiling. I know they say not to use pots that much bigger than the burner, but what's a gal supposed to do when there's tomatoes to be put up??!!

I was short on time, so I did not cook my tomatoes down like I normally do.  I blanched them in order to slip the skins off, then put them in my electric dutch oven to heat up.  I washed up my jars and filled them with the hot tomatoes and added 1/2 tsp canning salt to each quart jar. I then put in my new canner and boiled for 35 minutes.  That's all there was to canning tomatoes.  They are prettier if you cook them down first. If I have enough tomatoes to do another batch, I'll make a post on that method.

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