Great Tomato Canning Experiment of 2011

Well, after a couple of days of sweating over a hot stove and peeling more tomatoes than I ever thought was possible, we now have 10 pint jars of crushed tomatoes and 12 half pints of tomato sauce. I know what you’re thinking…yes, we’re big fans of tomatoes in this house and after reading an article on tomatoes and BPA online (7 Foods So Unsafe Farmers Won’t Eat Them), I wanted to can enough for the year. Since this is my first time canning, I didn’t know just how many I would have to make. I guess we’ll see!

It was a bit tough going for a while there since I didn’t realize how ripe my tomatoes were until 8 pm Sunday evening. I had already been canning red chile sauce for most of the afternoon (Thanks Monica!) so all I wanted to do was kiss my boys goodnight, tuck them in and watch True Blood. Nope, not in the cards. Instead, I began blanching, peeling, crushing and cooking 20 lbs of tomatoes for my pint jars. I didn’t finish until around 1 am and by that point, I was seriously reconsidering just how bad BPA really could be.

The second and third day of canning went much better. I decided to split up the work a bit and prepared the sauce on Monday and then canned it during the boys’ nap (Awh, I have “boys,” plural.) on Tuesday. It’s a good thing because reducing tomato juice to sauce takes for-EVER! I was a bit more prepared this time and had supportive shoes on, was sipping an ice cold Shiner (Blonde, Ruby Redbird would have been nicer but I was all out) and was listening to the World War Z audio book. Much more enjoyable!

Over all, I believe the Great Canning Experiment of 2011 went pretty well. I guess we won’t really know until we start eating the canned tomatoes and don’t all get ridiculously sick from botulism or something. Fingers crossed!


About Vanessa Brady

Vanessa Brady is a craft blogger, mother of two boys, and a hot sauce junkie. She's been running Tried & True for over 7 years and her tutorials have been featured in numerous craft books and publications.


  1. Oh lordy, Vanessa. Tomatoes are a pain in the a**, as you now know! ūüôā Last year I did 14 pints–and all that blanching and peeling left me with lots of singed fingers and an unbelievably hot, barely-air conditioned apartment. Plus it smelled funny. So I give you serious props for doing it overnight–what a job. I haven’t bothered this year!

    • No kidding. I’m thinking maybe next year I might just can whole tomatoes. But I kinda like having sauce ready to go. Ugh, maybe I’ll forget what a pain it was and sucker myself into doing it again next year.

  2. Count me out. Though if I get my hands on a chest freezer from craigslist, I might be tempted to freeze them in 28-oz bags. That’s what I did two years ago–scald, peel, freeze. Still hot and messy but not nearly as hot and messy as canning toms is.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *