It has occurred to me that I have limited acceptable space for canned goods. Acceptable meaning socially acceptable. Like would you feel weird if you went into someone’s house and saw them storing jam behind the toilet? Or open the closet to get your coat and have applesauce pouring out?
Canned goods have to be stored in a dark, cool place. I have a huge basement, but it is too damp. And I would cry and howl if I ever found any of the canned goods I worked so hard to preserve, have mold on them.
I also had someone recently comment on my Instagram and it made me think. They were asking how I learned to can and how they could. I said I learned from my MIL and suggested that you find someone who knows how and learn from them. Sure, you can learn from books, but I learned best by physically doing it.
But canning can be scary! I mean, if your items are not packed right–KA-BOOM! Cans can explode in the canner! Or worse, if things aren’t properly sanitized or sealed…you could kill someone with the deadly bacteria that grows inside.
So, if you don’t know someone who has experience in canning, or have some friendly Mennonite neighbor, a learning center, a farmer’s market, food co-op; like if you landed on Earth with no resources and wanted to learn how, I suggest you read a book and go online or learn another way.
So I shall offer up the tomato recipe I freeze instead of can! And you’ll be happy to know little effort is involved.
We grow numerous types of tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes thrive in our garden and we can’t put them in salads quick enough. So I preheat the oven to 250 degrees, place the cherry tomatoes in a glass baking pan, and put them in for two hours. Once they are out and cooled, I put them in freezer bags. Bam. Easy. And any recipe that calls for diced tomatoes? Yeah, these are your ticket. Take out the bag, toss them in a chili, done.
Another tomato I use these technique with are smaller verities of Roma tomatoes. Slice them in half; add salt, pepper, garlic; and drizzle oil on top (I use avocado oil), and set in that 250 degree oven for up to 4 hours. Some folks use parchment paper but I skip that. I’d prefer to fight the glass pan for my tomatoes. Plus, it’s less waste.
Again, take these puppies out, cool them down, place in bags, and freeze. Again to be used for diced tomatoes.