My cousin and I decided to can tomatoes together this year – thought it would be better than doing my our lonesome. We decided on 3 flats – the kids could play and we could can and it would not take all day. I ordered 3 flats and she said 3 cases and I said 3 flats – when I picked them up it was 3 cases! I picked them up on Friday and we canned on Monday, believe me I could not wait – the smell of tomatoes in my house, not a good thing!
We got the kids fed breakfast and then started the process of skinning the tomatoes, dicing, cleaning and sterilizing jars – the hours went by and before we knew it it was dinner time! Wow – we canned 37 jars of diced tomatoes and then made some tomato sauce (next post). We only lost 2 jars – it was not easy to keep the jar warm as we were packing it with cold tomatoes – after the second jar lost we figured that out.
Canned Diced Tomatoes
Roma tomatoes, or other variety
Quart canning jars and lids
2 large soup pots
1 large bowl
1. Fill your canning pot and start that heating up – it takes a long time to come to a boil.
2. Fill another soup pot with water and bring to a boil.
3. Fill your sink with cold water and ice.
4. Clean and sterilize your jars, either in a dishwasher or in a water bath – cleaning your jars first in the sink.
5. Once your soup pot water comes to a boil, add your tomatoes.
6. After about 60 – 90 seconds take your tomatoes out of the boiling water and place in the sink with cold water and ice. This will cool the tomatoes and stop the cooking process.
7. With your paring knife remove the “belly button” (where the stem was) and remove the skin. The skin should come off easily, if not place back in the boiling water for a few second. Place the tomatoes in a colander.
8. Repeat steps 5 – 7 until all the tomatoes are done.
9. Chop up your basil and add to the tomatoes, mixing well.
10. Chop the tomatoes up and place in a large soup pot.
11. Place your tops into a saucepan and heat the water, but do not boil. Let the tops sit in the water for at least 10 minutes – this will sterilize them and make the rubber sticky.
12. Fill a large bowl with hot water.
13. Fill a jar with 2 TBl lemon juice and the diced tomatoes. Take a knife and place down the sides of the jar, releasing any air bubbles. Fill the jar to 1/2″ from the top. Wipe the jar clean and put lid and ring on.
14. Place the jar into the large bowl of hot water.
15. Pack another jar following step 13. When this jar is sealed take the jar out of bowl of warm water and place that jar into the canning pot with a jar grabber.
16. Repeat steps 13 – 16 until your canning pot is full.
17. Once the water in the canning pot is back to a boil, process the jars for 50 minutes.
18. Take the jars out of the canning pot and place on a dish cloth lined counter. You should hear the popping of the jars – this is the jar sealing. If the jar does not seal, turn it over for 20 – 30 minutes and it should seal – if not those are the jars you use first.
Aren’t the jars so beautiful?! They will come in handy when you want to make a pot of sauce or add some tomatoes to a stew or other yummy meal! I love watching my cabinets fill up with the summer and fall harvest, knowing that I will be able to enjoy it during the snow covered months!