This weekend, for the first time ever, I canned some tomatoes (some of my own included). This has been something I have been wanting to do for ages, but have never tried. during the winter, it is quite easy to get by on mainly local vegetables but it never seems possible to manage without canned tomatoes so we always wind up buying them. Of course, my canning efforts are nowhere near the amount we need. Maybe I’ll make more, but even if I don’t at least it’s a start. I canned a little over 10 lbs of diced tomatoes which turned into 9 500 ml jars. As I guide I used this blog post. The only issue I had was that once processed I found that the contents of the jars were separated, with liquid on the bottom and tomatoes on top. I did some reading and found that this happens if you have preheated the tomatoes for two long. I didn’t know this was a potential issue, but I’m not completely sure I did that. Another problem may have been that I peeled and chopped some of the tomatoes the day before, and kept them overnight in the fridge. Fortunately, though they don’t look as good all you have to do it shake the jars before using.
Tag Archives: canning
Yesterday I made apple chutney for the first time as part of my Christmas gift-making. It was a little time-consuming with the chopping of apples and onions, but fairly straight forward. And as it bubbled away happily it made the whole house smell lovely. I used this recipe I found online. It needs to rest in its jars for about a month so I figure it’s perfect timing (well, maybe a little tiny bit late) for Christmas. I tasted it though, and even right out of the pot it’s quite nice.
I’d say the most fiddly part was the potting and canning. There seems to be differing opinions as to whether or not chutney needs to be put through the boiling water canning process but I don’t really know enough about it to make an informed decisions. Plus, these are gifts, so I wanted to be extra safe. I don’t have a canner, so had to improvise, and do lots of batches. And there was much fussing about with wooden utensils trying to get bottles in and out of boiling water for sterilizing. I felt a little like Edward Spoon Hands, or like I was playing some strange fair game. It would have been slightly easier if I could have used the dishwasher to sterilize the jars before potting, but it was nowhere near full so I couldn’t justify running it. But I got everything done and well sealed in the end. It does make me consider the need for a canner though. It’s a hard thing to decide because I don’t make much in the way of preserves, but maybe I would if the processing was easier!
But all that is unimportant now and what matters is that I have a lovely little collection of chutney to give away!