Bringing in the Harvest {Canning Tomatoes}

One thing that seems to always grow pretty well for me is tomatoes. I guess they like me. That is nice because I like them too!

 I like them fresh in our salads, in tacos, just sliced and eaten plain, on hamburgers or cooked in a myriad of dishes. I like to make salsa with them and can them that way or I like to simply can them in nice big chunks to use to cook with later.

Today I thought I would share my methods for canning plain ol' tomatoes. I do a very easy method where I don't even skin them. This works fine for our family, we don't mind a few skins now and then and it is simpler. If your family doesn't like skins however, Jackie at Blessings Overflowing has some easy directions for skinning your tomatoes.
Step 1. Collect your tomatoes. Search high and low in the garden for all the ripe ones available. (And now, after our frost, I am still canning tomatoes from the green ones that I brought in to ripen. Many are turning red fast.)

Step 2. Wash them well. (At this point you would also skin them if you want too.)
Meanwhile~ Heat a big pot, half full of water, to boiling while you put the tomatoes in jars.

Step 3: Cut off stems and any bad spots.

Step 4: Cut them in halves or quarters or whatever size you desire.

Step 5: Pack them in carefully cleaned canning jars (quart or pint sized).

Step 6: Squish them down (to get rid of air space). We use a wooden spoon for this and I advise you to find a cute helper for this job! :-)

Step 7: Put 1/2 teaspoon of salt in the top of each jar.

Step 8: Sterilize the canning lids with boiling water.

Step 9: Carefully wipe of the rim of the jars, put canning lid in place and screw tightly.

Step 10: Once all the jars are ready, place them in the pan of boiling water (The pan needs to have a rack on the bottom so that water can circulate around the jars) making sure that the water comes up 1 inch over the tops of the jars. (Add more hot water if needed)

Step 11: Bring the water back to a boil and then start the timer, 35 minutes for pints and 45 minutes for quarts.

Step 12: At the end of the time carefully take the jars out. I have a special canning tongs (a gift from my Grandma!) to get them out safely. Without jiggling set them gently on a towel. Leave them along until they are completely cool.

Step 13: Hopefully you have heard them all "pop" at this time and they are all sealed. Be sure to check to make sure that they are sealed (and that you can't pop the middle of the lid up and down) you don't want to end up with a jar of rotten tomatoes in your pantry! Any that are not sealed can be but in the fridge and used in a few days.

Step 14: Label them, wash of any residue with a rag and put them away.

Step 15: Bring them out and enjoy them all winter long!
Putting up our own food to eat for the winter is a way that we can save a lot of money. I am so happy that my mom was able to pass on the knowledge of canning to me. For more frugal tips visit Frugal Fridays at Life as MOM.

Also if you are interested in Frugal tips or just like to make your Christmas extra special with homemade gifts, please come back and join my here this next Tuesday! 

  That will be the first day of my "Have a Handmade Christmas" Carnival which we will be having weekly into December. Please write about you handmade ideas and come link up! If you would, I would love it if you would share this button on your blog as well!