Thursday, August 18, 2011

Preserving Tomatoes

Tomato Ketchup
I'm still working on this recipe.  It's too sweet and seasoned for my taste.  In my next batch I will reduce the sugar content and the spices.  They marinate in there for a long time, and I would like to still detect a nice tomato flavor on our Memorial Day picnic.

4 quarts tomato pulp
4-5 large onions

Remove peel from clean tomatoes, either by blanching or freezing.
Qharter and squeeze out some of the juices by hand.  (Reserve for drinking or canning.)
Process tomato and onion in blender or food processor.

~  OR  ~

Quarter and cook tomatoes with onions.
Pour into foodmill, allowing the thin juices to run off.
Transfer this mixture to another bowl and press out thick pulp.
Measure pulp.

~    *    ~    *    ~    *    ~

In a large, nonreactive kettle, combine:

4 quarts tomato pulp
2 Tablespoons celery salt
4 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups vinegar
1/4 teaspoon mixed pickling spice, tied in cheesecloth:

bay leaf
mustard seed
allspice berries
cinnamon stick

Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat & cook slowly 1 to 1-1/2 hours, stirring occassionally.
Remove the spice bag.
Combine ina bowl:

5 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup water

Stir into boiling tomato mixture.
Boil 5 minutes.

Seal into hot, sterilized jars.

Tomato Juice
This is a handy recipe to have around when you have all that nice tomato juice from making ketchup.  I use it during the winter months to tenderize my beef roasts.

3 to 3-1/2 pounds tomatoes per quart
bottled lemon juice

Wash, drain, and core tomatoes.
Cut into quarters.
Simmer until soft.
Press through a seive or a food mill; compost seeds and peels.
Heat juice for 5 minutes at 190°F.  Do not boil.

Add 2 Tablespoons lemon juice to each quart


1 Tablespoon lemon juice to each pint.

Ladle hot juice into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch head space.
Adjust lids.
Process: pints 40 minutes, quarts 45 minutes in boiling water bath.

~    *    ~    *    ~    *    ~

Your pantry is filling up for the winter now. 
Don't worry, harvest time won't last forever.
Keep reminding yourself how your mouth will water in February!

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As long as I'm on this journey, rambling through life's exhilarating highs and trudging heavily amongst it's incapacitating lows, I might as well share whatever may be gleaned from my little bits of wisdom and my many missteps. No room for judgment from this broken mama. I'm writing from my heart: raw, open, messy, but saved. And I'm still thanking God!