Saturday, July 23, 2011

Summer Ritual

Well today has been spent completing one of my Summer rituals, canning tomatoes!  In the interest of full disclosure, canning tomatoes and salsa!  Every year in July I pull out the canning tools and go to the farmer's market for the best looking tomatoes I can find.  Can't beat those local tomatoes!  I used to grow my own, but the years of bending, fighting off the bugs, and fertilizing have taken their toll and now I just prefer to go to the Farmer's Market and just pick the best of the best! 
Canning tomatoes isn't really difficult, although I will admit it takes quite a bit of time!  First you scald them to loosen the skins, and then you have to slip the skins off and cut out the core.  That is actually the most time consuming part of the process.  Sterilizing the jars, you then pack the tomatoes tightly in pint or quart jars, add vinegar or lemon juice, a little salt, put the tops on and put them in a hot water bath for 45 minutes!  Not bad, Huh? 
The Salsa takes a little more time as you have to chop the tomatoes, peppers and onions and cook before you add spice and place in jars to process.
But, let me tell you, there is nothing quite like being able to open those jars in the dead of winter and enjoy the fruits of Summer!  The canned tomatoes are so great for soups, spaghetti and other sauces.
Well, I hear the timer going off....that 45 minutes went by to you all later!

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