Wednesday, April 15, 2015


The garden is blooming! So far, we have the following things planted:

  • Tomatoes
  • Figs (from last year)
  • Pomegranates (from last year)
  • Peaches (from last year)
  • Pears (from last year)
  • Plums (from last year)
  • Lemon grass (from last year)
  • Rosemary (from last year)
  • Bay leaf (from last year)
  • Blueberries (from last year)
I think one of my goals for this season is going to be to learn how to can. We definitely won't be able to eat all of the tomatoes we produce during the summer season. Since we eat homemade pizza about 3-4 times a month, I think it would be useful to learn how to can pizza sauce. Any recommendations? What's the easiest and cheapest way to get into canning? 

This recipe looks useful for making pizza sauce to can. But do I really need to peel the tomatoes? That sounds a little too much for me (actually, a lot too much for me).


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Abby said...

Erica at NW Edible Life has great ideas about canning. Here's one about peeling tomatoes fast:
And another about making sauce from the skins:

Kara said...

If you blanch the tomatoes first, it's really easy to remove the skins.

I have a hard time justifying the time it takes to make/can your own tomato sauce because it's so cheap to buy. But, if you use a lot, it might make sense for you. I try and focus my canning on foods that are either expensive, hard to find, or when you're looking for something very specific. With tomatoes that could be salsas, chutney, etc.

I know you're always trying to maximize your time and effort, so just keep that in mind if you decide to get into canning. However, it's definitely something you could include your kids in, so that may make it worth it in and of itself!

Gina said...

Erica at NW Edible Life has taught me everything I know. As for canning, totally not worth the time, effort, or mess unless you happen to stumble upon 100 pounds of free peaches (personal experience). Otherwise, just freeze your tomatoes. It's a bit bulkier, but all I do is slice my tomatoes in half and put in freezer bag. Done. When you are ready, take it out, thaw for a couple of minutes and the skins come right off when you are finally ready to use them in sauces, chilis, soups, etc. You can freeze whole tomatoes, but that's even bulkier, which is why I go to the oh so great effort of cutting them in half first.

Nora said...

I agree -- freeze them! Can even pre-make sauces to freeze. Unless you have hundreds. This would be much less time-consuming than canning.

Casandra said...

Another vote for freezing! Freeze oven dried or roasted tomatoes in gallon freezer bags and sauce in wide-mouth pint or half int jars. Though if you want to give canning a try without a lot of investment see this post from Marisa at Food in Jars -
I also have a little guide to small scale canning -

Safronia B said...

I cannot recommend this enough:
Marisa is a lovey writer and not only has great recipes but gets into the science behind canning so you can eventually develop your own. Her cookbooks have turned me into a canner without a huge investment on equipment or time, thanks especially to her small-batch recipes (there's a whole cookbook of them!).

Erica said...

We make an annual vegetable soup and can it along with all sorts of beans. We actually give the soup as Christmas presents! It's beautiful when canned and is so nice to have during the winter to heat quickly with a grilled cheese for a complete meal. It tastes like it was just picked and made. We have a local ag agency here in Charlotte, NC that will inspect your pot and give you all the information and recipes you need. It's old school, tried and true! Canning is very dangerous and it's recommended to have your pressure cooker inspected yearly. The ag agency will do it for free!

tatgeer said...

I helped my mom can a lot of tomatoes in my youth. What I remember of our peeling/blanching process was even easier than the instructions Abby linked to. Wash the tomatoes, drop them whole into a pot of boiling water. When the skin cracks, fish them out. Once they're cool enough to handle, you can pull the skin off (it just slides right off) and squeeze the tomato - the soft parts will squish through your fingers and you'll be left with the core in your hand.

My job was always fishing the tomatoes out of the pot - it was great fun to watch for the skin to crack.

Meghan said...

If you have a Victorio, it deseeds and removes skins for you.
You'd also be abke to use it for your peaches and plums if you were to make jam.

Meghan said...

And here's a pizza sauce recipe that doesn't require peeling from a Mennonite mother of two who also edits cookbooks, i.e. she knows what she's talking about. I personally haven't tried this recipe, but every other recipe of her's I've tried has been delicious.
There is no reason you can't can this recipe after making it, or you could freeze it. The recipe's author is also a canner, so I'm sure she has great advice if you reach out to her.

fuzzy said...

Ok, the acidity is what makes water bath canning safe. Depending on how much extra junk you add, you're running the risk of making it unsafe. Canning isn't that much work, for heavens sake. While you cook dinner, boil a pot of water. Grab a few quart jars, dunk the tomatoes int the boiling water and peel them. Cut them in half and fill however many jars you have tomatoes for, leaving about a half inch of space. Add a half tsp of salt toe each jar, wipe the rim, add a new lid and clean band.. You can fit three or maybe four jars in a tall stockpot. Put a cloth on the bottom, then jars.. Fill the whole shebang with hot water, bring to boil, boil 45 min. Remove to rack and cool. The lids will snap down as they seal. When cool, remove the bands.

violarulz/ducksandbooks said...

If you have the time and really want to learn about canning, look into the local ag extension canning classes. They're SO worth it, especially when you're dealing with large quantities. There's a big upfront cost for canning materials, but everything but the lids are reusable!

violarulz/ducksandbooks said...

If you have the time and really want to learn about canning, look into the local ag extension canning classes. They're SO worth it, especially when you're dealing with large quantities. There's a big upfront cost for canning materials, but everything but the lids are reusable!

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