It's tomato processing time!
Here at the Cottage I'm up to my elbows in red and yellow tomatoes! It was just a week or two ago that I was yearning for the red tomatoes to come on. And, they have in a big way.
I'm freezing, canning, and saucing tomatoes. Red and yellow tomatoes!
Here's a quick way to can tomatoes for use all Winter long in soups, stews, and more!
Recipe: Easy Canned Tomatoes (makes as many pints as you want)
Tomatoes, rinsed, and peeled (unless you use a "no peel" variety).
Cut away the stem and blossom end of rinsed (peeled, if needed) tomatoes. Slice the tomatoes and cut into chunks.
Into a clean pint jar place 1-TBS cider vinegar and 1/2-tsp sea salt. Pack the tomatoes into the jar in layers pressing them down (I use a wooden pestle) with a thick wooden spoon to release the juice. Pack each jar until you have 1/2-inch headroom. Repeat, loading pint jars with all the tomatoes you wish to process - don't forget to add the vinegar and salt to each jar!
*Vinegar or lemon juice assure that the canning environment is safely acidic.
Wipe the rim of each jar, fit with a hot lid, screw on the band firmly but not too tight, and place each jar onto the rack of a water bath or steam canner. Process the pints for 35 minutes, adding one minute for each 1,000 feet you live above sea level.
While my tomatoes sweated it out in the steam canner, I got to work on the yellow tomatoes. The golf ball-sized yellow tomatoes require peeling if they're to be canned. As I'm one who does not (read "will not") peel a tomato, I generally don't can the yellow ones.
I use yellow tomatoes fresh in yellow tomato gazpacho and Yellow Tomato Salsa (see August 22, 2012 post of the salsa recipe). I also freeze them for Winter use.
To freeze yellow tomatoes, rinse, and cut out around the stem and discard it. Slice the tomato in half and squeeze out most of the seeds and moisture.
I save 8-ounce plastic containers from sour cream, cottage cheese, and yogurt for freezing red and yellow tomatoes for "fresh" use during the Winter. One of my favorite tools in the kitchen is a plastic wall scraper/putty knife. I use it to pick up chopped veggies and fruit and as a baker's bench/dough scraper. I use it solely in the kitchen.
Earlier in the day I made Homemade Ketchup (see previous post) and for the moment - until I harvest more - I'm caught up on my tomatoes!
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