Canning stewed tomatoes in September is as traditional at my house as Christmas. In fact… I went so far as to plan my family around canning tomatoes. No September babies for me! The month of September is Tomato month… and I wanted no interference.
Guess what…. what you resist… persists. Katie was born September 19th. Her three year old birthday photo… blowing out her cake candles… has jars of tomatoes sitting near by.
Now, I have the best of two worlds in September… Katie and tomatoes. I just love stewed tomatoes because they are already cooked down a bit for so many dishes that I prepare during the winter months. So… here we go.
1. Prepare your tomatoes, using the basic instructions for canning tomatoes. I prepare a bushel of tomatoes at a time and place them in a large 20 quart canning pot. If you don’t have a large canning pot… use several large cooking pots.
2. Using my clean hands, I squish up the tomatoes until they are quite broken down.
3. Add 1 TB of salt to the batch.
4. I now add 1/2 C. of white vinegar to the batch. Years ago, tomatoes had more acid content. They grow tomatoes now with less acid content. That’s why I add the vinegar.
5. Cook the tomatoes until they boil. A foam will rise to the top. You can skim this off if you desire. I usually don’t because the foam goes away the longer you cook the batch.
6. Turn down heat and simmer tomatoes for 45 min. to an hour. I stir them frequently so the tomatoes that rest on the bottom of the pot don’t burn.
7. You can tell by the color when they are ready. The color deepens into a rich darker red. Beautiful color.
8. Fill your clean quart canning jars 1/2” into the neck of the jar and place on new canning lids and good rings. (I use a two cup measuring cup and scoop up the tomatoes from the pots into the canning bottles.) Don’t tighten the canning ring to tightly. (The reason I fill up the neck area a bit is because air has been trap in the tomatoes with all the stirring and pouring into the jars. When they finally settle… the jars will be filled perfectly.)
9. Follow the water bath or steam canner instructions for processing. I process them for only about 20 min because they have already been cooked previously. I’m just sealing the jars at this point. Never had a problem in 30 years.
10. Yield: About 14 to 16 Quarts. Try is recipe… you’ll love them.
Happy Canning and Preserving
Til Later, Kathy Griffiths – Insightful Nana
P.S. Stewed tomatoes are good in the winter time heated in a colorful mug. Add a little butter, salt and pepper to taste. Grill a toasted cheese sandwich and you’re good to go. Mmmm good!