By Marisa McClellan, Food in Jars
Every year for the last four, I’ve canned 100 pounds of tomatoes. I do it by myself and I have developed a system so that I work my way through all four 25 pound boxes without wanting to tear my hair out.
To start, I spread a tarp out on my living room floor and pour all the tomatoes onto it. I enlist my husband’s help and we proceed to organize the tomatoes from ripest to least ripe. Then I start cooking.
I’ve found that I can do about 8 quarts of either whole peeled or diced tomatoes a day before I have to empty the blanching pot and call it a night. Within a week, every single tomato is off the floor and into jars. I am always happy to have done it and grateful to be done.
In addition to those staple tomato products, I also make a couple tomato-based condiments. Last year, I did a spicy tomato chutney and a jam with Sun-Gold tomatoes, lemons and basil. The chutney was a valuable addition to toasted cheese sandwiches last winter and the jam was regularly pressed into service as a glaze for chicken. Both are on the list again for this coming year because they were so darn good.
Spicy Tomato Chutney
Yellow Tomato and Basil Jam