The Food In Jars challenge this month was "cold pack processing" (also known as 'raw pack'). Basically it means you don't pre-cook your vegetable/fruit before processing. You put the raw produce into the jar and put brine/sugar/juice...whatever your liquid is on top of the produce.
Then you process it in a hot water bath.
Most of the recipes I found were for pickles. And frankly I'm pickled out.
Then I found a recipe for canned whole tomatoes...
...and that is why I headed out to the Amish produce auction. There are a lot of greenhouse grown tomatoes available this early. See that box on the corner of the table? Those are my "canning tomatoes". I think it is a half bushel and my scale said it was about 25 pounds.
Aren't they pretty? And they smelled so good.
After picking out a few to keep for eating, we got busy preparing them. We cored and slice in X in to bottom of each one. Then they were blanched for 2 minutes to make the skins slip off. That left us with the tomatoes on the right.
From there we just put them into the ready-to-go jars, mashing them down a bit to get them nice and juicy. A bit of clean-up and the jars went into the processor.
My pot holds 4 quart jars. It was only when I got them into the pot that I checked the processing time...
Are you kidding me? I was shocked. I wonder how many cans I could have bought for the electricity I used. I had about a quart and a half of tomatoes left...and they went into the freezer for soup.
Supposedly it is fairly normal for crushed tomatoes to separate and you just give it a shake before you use it. Yeah...
So these tomatoes are my one venture into canning tomatoes.