Monday, August 3

Canning Summertime

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Extra work now will keep your pantry stocked with the full flavors of summer.

By now you’ve been enjoying fresh, homegrown tomatoes for quite some time and used them in recipes galore. There are many weeks left before the season comes to an end with the first frost. Why not can the excess tomatoes for enjoyment long after those summer plants are gone? These recipes will take care of the over abundance now and provide you exceptional ingredients for family meals when it’s cold outside.


Green Tomato Pickles

Yield: 6 quarts
Ingredients:
  • Small, green, firm tomatoes
  • 6 stalks celery, cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 6 green bell peppers, seeded and quartered
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 quart distilled white vinegar
  • 1 cup canning salt
  • 6 sprigs fresh dill
Instructions:
  1. Pack the tomatoes in hot quart jars. To each jar, add 1 garlic clove, 1 celery stalk and the equivalent of 1 bell pepper. Combine the water, vinegar and salt and bring to a boil. Add the dill and boil 5 minutes.
  2. Pour over the tomatoes, leaving ½-inch headspace. Remove the air bubbles, wipe the jar rims and adjust the lids. Process 15 minutes in a boiling water bath. Cool on a wire rack away from drafts. Do not use for six weeks. Store at room temperature.

Tomato Juice

Yield: 4 quarts
Ingredients:
  • 14 pounds ripe tomatoes, cored with blossom ends removed
  • 8 tablespoons lemon juice
Instructions:
  1. Quarter the tomatoes and place in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. When the tomatoes completely soften, set aside to cool slightly. Juice in a food mill or a food processor. Strain to remove the seeds and peels. Place the juice back in the Dutch oven over medium heat. Simmer (do not boil) for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to each hot quart jar. Ladle the hot juice into each jar, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims and adjust the lids. Process 40 minutes in a boiling water bath. Cool on a wire rack away from drafts. Store at room temperature.

Tomato Sauce

Yield: 7 pints
Ingredients:
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 6 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 3 cups sweet chopped onions
  • 23 pounds tomatoes, cored with blossom ends removed and quartered
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 7 tablespoons lemon juice
Instructions:
  1. Place the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When hot, saute the garlic and onions for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the tomatoes, bay leaves, salt, oregano, sugar, black pepper and crushed red pepper. Simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool slightly then puree in a food processor or food mill. Strain to remove the seeds and peels. Return the sauce to the Dutch oven and cook uncovered over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Allow to thicken and reduce the sauce by half.
  2. Meanwhile, add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to each hot pint jar. Ladle the hot sauce into each jar, leaving ½-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims and adjust the lids. Process 35 minutes in a boiling water bath. Cool on a wire rack away from drafts. Store at room temperature.

Canned Tomatoes

Yield: 4 quarts
Ingredients:
  • 12 pounds tomatoes, washed
  • 8 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 teaspoons salt

Instructions:

  1. Place tomatoes in a wire basket and carefully lower into a large pot of boiling water. Blanch for 30 seconds and carefully remove. Plunge into ice-cold water. Slip off the skins and core the tomatoes. Leave whole or cut into halves or quarters. Leave the blanching water over heat.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of salt into each of the hot quart jars. Pack the tomatoes into the jars. Ladle hot water over the tomatoes, leaving ½-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles, wipe jar rims and adjust the lids. Process 45 minutes in a boiling water bath. Cool on a wire rack away from drafts. Store at room temperature.

Tomato Salsa

Yield: 7 pints
Ingredients:
  • 10 cups cored and chopped tomatoes
  • 6 sweet medium onions, peeled and chopped
  • 6 sweet bell or 8 banana peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 3 cups chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1½ cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1½ cups seeded and finely chopped Anaheim peppers
  • 1 cup seeded and finely chopped jalapeno peppers
  • 1 garlic bulb, separated into cloves, peeled and minced
  • 4½ teaspoons salt
Instructions:
  1. Place the tomatoes, onions, sweet or banana peppers, cilantro, vinegar, Anaheim and jalapeno peppers, garlic and salt in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer 10 minutes.
  2. Ladle the salsa into hot jars, leaving /Cinch headspace. Remove air bubbles, wipe jar rims and adjust the lids. Process 25 minutes in a boiling water bath. Cool on a wire rack away from drafts. Store at room temperature.

Tomato Ketchup

Yield 3 pints
Ingredients:
  • 4 quarts peeled, cored and chopped tomatoes
  • ¾ cup chopped onions
  • ½ cup chopped red bell peppers
  • 1¼ teaspoons celery seeds
  • l teaspoon whole allspice
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1½ cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
Instructions:
  1. Place the tomatoes, onions and peppers in a large stockpot over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently for 15 minutes. Using an immersion blender, puree the tomato mixture and decrease heat to low. Cook and stir until the mixture is reduced by half.
  2. Meanwhile, tie the celery seeds, allspice, mustard seeds and cinnamon stick in a few layers of cheesecloth or in a spice bag. When the tomato mixture is reduced, add the bag, along with the vinegar, sugar, salt and paprika. Simmer, stirring frequently for 15–30 minutes or until the mixture reaches your desired thickness. Remove and discard the spice bag.
  3. Ladle into hot jars, leaving ½ inch headspace. Remove any air bubbles, wipe jar rims and adjust the lids. Process 15 minutes in a boiling water bath. Cool on a wire rack away from drafts. Store at room temperature.

TOMATO CANNING TIPS

  • Use only perfectly ripe tomatoes for canning.
  • Peel the tomatoes.
  • Depending on what you are canning, either leave the tomatoes whole or cut, quarter, halve or chop.
  • Remove the hard core.
  • Use only jars approved for home canning with two-piece caps (rings and flat lids).
  • Organize and clean all your equipment before you begin.
  • Make sure you have plenty of time to properly complete the process.
  • Do not make any changes to the recommended water bath guidelines.
  • When canning is complete, allow the jars to sit undisturbed away from drafts for 12 to 24 hours.
  • Store properly sealed jars in a cool, dark, dry place.

Ask Chef Tammy

Michael writes: “I stockpiled sugar when it went on sale, but now when I open the bag, it is hard and lumpy, making it impossible to measure.

What can I do?”

Michael,
Some amount of moisture has likely caused the sugar to cake. The easiest fix is to scoop amounts of it onto a large piece of waxed paper and roll it out with a rolling pin. Then use the waxed paper to transfer it to an airtight container for storage. Do this in increments.

Sharon asks: “Every now and then, I have cream that will not whip. It is still in date. Please help!”

Sharon,
First of all, make sure everything is cold. That isn’t just the cream but the bowl you will be using as well as the beaters. Then be patient because it takes a good 2 minutes to have it whip completely. If it still doesn’t whip, sprinkle ½ teaspoon of unflavored gelatin powder over 1½ tablespoons of water in a small bowl. Let stand for 2 minutes, then microwave for 5 seconds on high power. As you whip the cold cream, slowly stream the gelatin mixture into the cream and continue beating until peaks form.

Email your cooking questions to Tammy Algood: talgood@tnelectric.org. You might be featured in the next issue of The Tennessee Magazine!

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About Author

Tammy Algood

Tammy Algood develops for The Tennessee Magazine recipes that feature farm-fresh Tennessee food. Those fresh, local ingredients will always add cleaner, more flavorful foods to your table. We recommend visiting local farms and farmers markets to find the freshest seasonal produce. For more information about our recipes, contact Algood at talgood@tnelectric.org.

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