We currently have three paper grocery bags full of tomatoes on our counter. They are heavy...about 10 pounds each. They are beautiful and delicious and I have no idea what I'm going to do with thirty pounds of them.
My mother recently sent me the Ball Blue Book, a guide to canning and preserving absolutely anything. Wondering how to process rutabagas? Or how to make green grape marmalade? This book tells all. Apparently, you can even can chicken, seafood, chili, and a lot of other meat-based foods. But one of the trickiest items to can, it turns out, is tomatoes.
I recently made up my own tomato-canning recipe which, unbeknownst to me, cut out a lot of the botulism-killing steps. Like boiling them in the jar for 45 minutes (I think I boiled them for about five...oops). Don't be scared, though, dear friends and readers. I froze those puppies rather than let them sit and develop disease on my shelves. But it seems that, with even three years on the farm, I haven't learned everything.
So here's my tomato-canning mantra. As I sterilize my jars and peel my tomato skins, I will do so carefully. My cook times will be precise. I will be neat. I will be mindful. And when I open a jar in the deep, deep winter and hear that sacred "pop," I will thank the canning gods, the Ball Blue Book, and my mom.