Wednesday, October 6, 2010


It’s that time of year again…and what time is that you ask…tomato canning time! Back several years ago a girlfriend and I thought we would can some tomatoes, I think it was 20 lbs. …straight up, canned tomatoes…we thought we were canning mavens! Needless to say, what with soups, stews, marina sauce, etc. we each blasted through our share of those tomatoes in no time. The following year we upped the ante…40 lbs. what were we thinking?! You have no idea just how many tomatoes you go through in the tomato ‘off months’…so last year being the wise women that we are, we decided that what we really needed to do was to can both marinara sauce AND straight tomatoes. So 60 lbs. it was…and we reasoned that if we had already prepared and canned marinara sauce we wouldn’t be using up our plain tomatoes to make, ya know, marinara sauce…60 lbs. seemed like an amount that would get us each through until tomatoes were bountiful once again…what children we were! Now, here is where I feel a need to put in a word of warning to any of you who think canning tomatoes sounds like a good idea…once you start using freshly canned tomatoes to cook with, there is no going back. I don’t care what kind of store bought pomodoro you choose to purchase it just won’t measure up. By the end of last spring recipes were being carefully reviewed as to their ‘tomato worthiness’ and some just didn’t pass mustard, but we squeaked by and with proper rationing we almost made it. Enter - TOMATO-RAMA 2010! Two women, two days, 120lbs of tomatoes! Have we lost our *%!#*’! minds! Some, may say with conviction, Yes! But those who reap the culinary benefits seem to now cheer us on. And besides, by this point we have become a well oiled, tomato canning machine! Day one was devoted to marina sauce, a lovely mix of tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and herbs, cooked down to a thick rich sauce…
Marinara Sauce
Recipe for 1 quart jar


4 - LBS tomatoes, peeled, cored and cut into quarters
4 - Cloves garlic – peeled, then crushed, pressed, chopped or sliced
3 - TBS Olive Oil
2 - 6” sprigs fresh Rosemary or handful of chopped Basil
1. Put lids in small pot to heat
2. Put jars in canning pot
3. Drop tomatoes into boiling water for 30 seconds, then into ice water
4. Peel and core tomatoes, cut into quarters
5. In a pot large enough to hold all the tomatoes, heat olive oil and sauté garlic until just beginning to turn golden brown
6. Add herbs of choice
7. Add tomatoes
8. Puree using hand blender (standing blender or potato masher will also work)
9. Cook down for 30 minutes
10. Remove glass jars from pot
11. Fill jars with hot tomato sauce, leaving ½” head space
12. Remove air bubbles
13. Wipe edge of can with clean damp towel
14. With tongs put 1 lid on jar and finger tighten ring on jar
15. Put jars into canning pot
16. When water is boiling again, process quart jars for 45 minutes (35 minutes for pint jars)
17. Remove from pot, cool

Day two (which actually occurred about a week later) was devoted to straight up canned tomatoes…the house smelled wonderful and the rewards…! All told we each have 15 quart jars of marinara sauce and 13 jars of tomatoes. Now that’s what I call a tomato larder and with any luck at all, should keep us…I’ll let you know next spring!

1 comment:

  1. What your larder must look like! If I were closer, I'd sneak in at night and raid the place! zooperson