Friday, September 13, 2013
Look-it what I did! :D
So I started by taking the 4 gallon sized bags of tomatoes in my freezer and washing them (as I didn't wash them before freezing). Then I cut them in half and roasted them in the oven for an hour.
After that I ran them through my food mill, that removed the skins and some of the seeds. If you look closely at my jars, you might notice there are some seeds in my sauce...but I'm not worried about that.
Then I slow cooked the sauce overnight so it could reduce...there is a LOT of water in tomatoes.
This morning I heated my jars and got ready. I put the sauce in the heated jars, added lemon juice and the lids and put them in my pressure canner (yes you can just water bath tomatoes, but I needed to try out the pressure canner and I've heard that you can get an off taste with water bath. I wouldn't know as I've never canned anything.)
So then I followed the directions for pressure canning that came with my canner, and also checked out my county extension office since we're at altitude. That meant don't bother trying the lower pressure...go full force for 15 lbs.
I went ahead and added 5 min to the processing time as it's better to overprocess than under. When it was done, I shut off the stove and just let it sit all day to cool. In fact I didn't even check the seals until we got home at 9pm and I was done with the heat at around noon! I was a bit worried that if one didn't seal then I would end up with lost sauce, so I'm so glad it worked.
As you can see for my 4 bags of tomatoes, I only got 3 quarts...but that isn't quite right. I actually got another 3/4 of a jar of sauce (and I had some sauce for my lunch while I was making it). So I have some more tomatoes that I'll add to the other jar and I may water bath process it, just so I can learn it and then see if I can tell any difference.