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!


  1. says

    Oh lordy, Vanessa. Tomatoes are a pain in the a**, as you now know! :) 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!

    • bumblev says

      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. says

    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.

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