I’ve canned six pints of crushed roma tomatoes so far this season. Just six. pints. The garden has been slow to produce any color besides green and the cold weather and cloudy skies haven’t been much help.
“I’m afraid I’ll have to go buy tomatoes from the Farmer’s Market to supplement.” Are the things I say to R on a daily basis as I stand above our harvested tomato crop. about twenty blanched and peeled romas will fit into a pint mason jar. So you can be up to your ears in tomatoes and come out with a quarts worth of product. Canning is a worthy endeavor and a heart breaking one. Nothing compares to opening a jar of tomatoes in January and smelling summer. But I also get super defensive of canned goods. If I make jam and someone opens a jar the next day I have a heart attack.
For some reason, saving up and putting up as much as we can is my primary goal. I become obsessed with the idea. It’s as if a grocery store isn’t an option in my mind. But I suppose it’s a pride issue. Or a competition with myself: see how much we can live out of our pantry.
There are so many recipes for canning tomatoes. If you are short on time you can pressure can them, or if you are lazy and cleaning the house and want it to take an hour you can be like me and water bath can them.
To water bath can roma tomatoes you need to blanch and peel them. This simply means boil water, popping a few in at a time, putting a timer on for 30 seconds, and quickly shocking them by transferring them from the boiling water to ice water. It helps the tomatoes to release the skins and makes it so easy to peel–they will practically pop right out of their skins.
Once you have a bowl filled with naked tomatoes, you pack them into pint jars. I crush them down to get in as many as possible (this is the part where you start to worry since 20 of these suckers are fitting in there no problem). I add 1 Tbsp. of lemon juice (my MIL uses salt), wipe the rim with a clean damp cloth, put the lids on and put them in a water bath canner for 40 minutes.
Afterwards, when I take them out, I usually pace around the kitchen giving myself a high-five when I hear the pop of a sealing jar. If one of them doesn’t seal, you can wait for it to cool down and put it in the fridge or just use/eat it.