Friday, September 6, 2013

Canning tomatoes!

For the first time ever, I've done a bunch of canning this year. I've been completely intimidated for years to can anything more than peaches (which I did for the first time last year with the help of my awesome mom). But, I did it!! This year was the year for canning. I canned stewed tomatoes, peaches, bread & butter pickles, sweet pickles, and green beans. I feel very accomplished. This post will specifically be about canning tomatoes. I am so grateful for all of the tutorials that Pinterest has led me to, including this one! If you click on the "canning tomatoes" link, it'll take you directly to directions for that - but I found this whole website so very helpful, that I wanted to make sure you could see it too:

Not only does it teach you how to can, but also what you should can, what you should freeze and the recipes that they use for preserving your fruits and veggies. Seriously. I loved this website. It was my lifesaving canning Bible as I slowly let go of the fear of canning and got to it. 

The first thing I did was the stewed tomatoes. Easiest. Canning. Ever. Not even joking. You don't even have to water bath these babies! I didn't ask for any assistance, I just read the post and got busy. I could not be happier with the results. 

I didn't take many pictures as I wasn't sure how this would go and I knew that if it didn't work, it wouldn't be so much of a Pinterest fail as a Heidi-fail for lack of canning knowledge. But, I did it. It worked. And I'd suggest if you are wanting to learn to can - this is a great place to start because it is so very easy. 

Here is the picture of my tomatoes all processed and ready to be eaten or stored. 

The initial investment for canning can be pricey, considering you need to buy jars and lids and the produce and (unless you have an awesome mom or friend or other family member) get a pressure cooker, but once you've done it - the rewards are great and the following year, you are pretty much just paying for lids and produce. Way cheaper! At least that's what I'm telling my husband. hehe. Just kidding, that is what I've heard as well. 

So, this is my post to assure you that canning is not as scary as it seems. Read thyhandhathprovided's website. It will re-assure you and equip you far better than I, a canning novice, could ever do. 

The hardest thing to can was green beans, because it required the pressure cooker - everything else only required a water bath. But, thankfully, I had a terrific friend who assisted me and taught me how to use the pressure cooker and make sure all went smoothly. Plus, she let me borrow her pressure cooker. She was another great resource for me that has helped build my canning confidence. If I can help re-assure or guide you any further, let me know. I totally enjoyed canning and I'm really looking forward to doing it next year!

And, just because I'm so proud of all my canning, here is a picture of the rest of my canned goods.

Green beans 
Bread & Butter Pickles
My Aunt Carole's Amazing Sweet Pickles
PS - I found the recipe for canning peaches on Pinterest as well and it is way easy. To see how to do that, check out this blog.

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