If you’re a regular reader of this blog you probably know that I’ve been having a little tomato canning trouble. Last weekend we decided to give it another go with another 20 pounds of tomatoes.
I wanted to see if hot packing would make any difference, so we peeled and seeded about half of the tomatoes, and then ran the other half through the tomato mill to make a pureé. Then we simmered it all together to make a chunky sauce. We ladled it in to quart jars, loaded the jars into the pressure canner, and hoped for the best.
I think the scariest part of pressure canning is lifting the lid when it’s all done. I just feel like I never know what I’m going to find in there. This time when we took off the lid my heart sank. There was tomato pulp everywhere. It looked to me like our worst batch yet. As I looked closer, I noticed huge chunks of tomato floating in the water in the pot. We were completely baffled as to how half a tomato could find it’s way out of a jar. But then as we lifted the first couple of jars out of the canner, I noticed a huge crack in one of the jars. It turned out all the tomato bits floating around were from a jar that had broken in two. The others were just fine. Siphoning was minimal, if there was any at all. This is the first time in all the canning I’ve done that I’ve ever had a jar break, and I was so happy to realize that the rest of the batch was fine that I really didn’t care about the broken one.
I think now I can say that I’ve officially had my fill of tomatoes for this year. From now on they’re going right into the freezer in gallon freezer bags as they ripen. I know that one day this winter when there’s a foot or two of snow on the ground, I’ll be more than happy to thaw a few bags of tomatoes and make a big pot of sauce.