Note: This was originally posted in 2012 – just want to bring it up.
This year we planted a total of 50 some odd plants of three varieties of tomatoes. No, we are not crazy. Last year we didn’t have a garden to speak of because the girls and I were gone. The year before that we had I think about 24 plants, but we didn’t get the canning yield we wanted. I have had tomatoes in the freezer since September waiting for me to do something with and I finally got around to it! I hadn’t realized how much freezer space was being taken up. There were about 20 gallon size bags!
Now when canning, I don’t go fussy, I go practical. My thought is that it gives you more flexibility when it comes time to eating. With the tomatoes we put them all in the turkey fryer outside to boil down. I made sure to boil it down longer this time so we would get a thicker consistency. After this, we had to divide it up into three pots because my stick blender was too short to get down in the turkey fryer. Once the jars were prepared, I added a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice to each jar and one teaspoon of salt. Fill and process for 45 minutes in a water bath canner.
We ended up with exactly 17 quarts! The flavor is amazing and something you will never be able to buy in a store. It is very eye-opening to realize how much taste you DON’T have in the store-bought produce! I encourage everyone to try to grow their own and if possible, learn to preserve it.