Tomato Time

I am not sure what I used to do with my downtime before summer. Why? Well, I spend a significant time watering gardens. If I work in the mornings are Mojo's, I usually water the little garden we have going there. Then, in the evenings I water the garden in the backyard of the house I'm "sitting" currently. I also keep up with the watering of the garden growing in the Baker's backyard. It adds up.

Thankfully, we have managed to keep some of our plants alive, even if they are ridiculously sad looking. Hey, at least they are producing... sometimes.

The gardens at the Sharp's and Baker's households are starting to produce a lot of tomatoes. I usually pick a few every single day, which makes me think we don't have tons and tons. False.

Instead, it was the kitchen table that let me know that, yes, it was time to deal with these babies.

These were just from the Sharp's garden
These were from the Baker's garden
So, this afternoon Leah and I canned some tomatoes 

Check the biodiversity in this jar! "Purple" tomatoes on the bottom, red in the middle, and yellow on top!

It gets a little messy

...and gross looking

Finished product! 
We actually tried to can five cans, but one of our pint jars broke! The bottom just broke off when it was in its hot water bath. So strange. Thankfully it was a clean break, so it wasn't too hard to clean up. Oh well, we still have a lot we need to do but we did not have enough pint jars so we are going to wait until next weekend. (If you know of anyone who has pint jars to get rid of, let me know ASAP).

And, of course, we ended our canning time/sister time with coffee time. yum.


Canned diced tomatoes

Bring a pot of water to a boil and blanch tomatoes for about a minute, or until the skins look like they are going to come off. Remove from water and transfer to another bowl filled with cold water. Peel, core and dice tomatoes. Cut into quarters. Press firmly into sterile jars, so that tomato juice fills the spaces, leaving 1/2 inch head space.

1 t sugar per quart (so 1/2 t sugar for pints)
1/2 t salt per quart (1/4 salt for pints)
2 T lemon juice per quart (1 T for pints)

Tighten lids and process for 60 minutes in boiling water bath.*


*Update: It is extremely important that you keep an eye on the water level. When cooking pints, the boiling time is only about 30 minutes. If you let it go too long, the water will boil down and the pan will start to burn. Eventually the tomato cans will explode. Not even kidding. Keep a level head.