When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. Right?!
Well when life gives me tomatoes (literally), I make tomato sauce.
Technically, it isn’t tomato sauce. It’s more like crushed tomatoes. But they are the base for everything yummy. Perfect for a stew in the middle of the cold winter. Delicious simmered down into the perfect spaghetti sauce. And the best part is that every time you open a jar, it smells like tomatoes right off the vine in the middle of summer.
I cannot tell you how easy this is to make. Of all the things I can or preserve, this is by far the easiest. And right now, all my kitchen windows & counters are lined with these beauty’s that are begging to be preserved!
What you’ll need:
- Tomatoes. As many as you can find, grow or want to can.
- Sterilized canning jars, lids & rings.
- Water bath canner
- Canning salt (this is your preserver)
- Jar grabber (this is a life saver)
- Funnel (optional, but recommended)
- Potato masher (speeds up the process)
Directions for preparing tomatoes:
- Wash your tomatoes with water.
- Core the stem area out & then quarter the remainder of the tomato.
- Transfer your cored, quartered tomatoes to a pot for cooking.
- Turn your stove to medium heat & let them start warming up.
- Mash them the best you can with the potato masher, and then let them come to a boil.
- After boiling about 10 minutes, mash them the best you can again.
Directions for canning:
- Boil water in your water bath canner.
- Ladle the cooked tomatoes into the funnel over your sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace in each canning jar.
- Add 1/2 tsp salt for pints, 1 tsp salt for quarts. *must use canning salt*
- Wipe rims clean (any debris will prevent sealing) and place your sterilized lids & rings on the jars & tighten to what I call “tighten with your fingers, but not so tight you’ll never get it open again”
- Place each jar in the canner (carefully) with the jar grabber. The water should rise a few inches over the top of the jars.
- Put the lid on & let them do their thing for 10 minutes.
- Once they are done, remove them from the canner & let them rest on a kitchen towel to cool.
- You should hear each one “pop or ping” as the lids seal. If for some reason you have one not seal, you can reprocess in the canner or refrigerate & consume within a week. Otherwise, sealed jars will last in the pantry for over a year.
(canned tomatoes on the left with some pickled okra on the right)
We’re finishing up our last few jars from last year, and starting on making new for the next year. Sometimes the canning gets overwhelming with everything we’re trying to preserve from the garden, but I know the joy my family shares when eating something delicious that we grew, and that I’m helping nourish their bodies all year long.
*Disclaimer – I am an affiliate for Amazon. I have linked up some of the items used in this recipe to items found on Amazon. If you purchase any of them through these links I have provided, I will receive a very small commission that will be used for this blog & our urban homesteading efforts at no extra cost to you.