If we’re friends on facebook (if not, why?), then you may have heard me shouting giddily (is that a word?) that I canned some tomatoes the other day. This was truly a new adventure for me, because my only experience with actual canning involves hungrily opening up the jars of tomatoes, beans, pickles, etc. that someone else has lovingly preserved.
My mother-in-law has canned her own food since forever and brought her equipment (and her tomatoes!) to my kitchen to teach me the process. She will surely kill me for posting her picture. And yes, that is a jar of Benefiber on my counter. Also coconut oil, gluten-free pretzels, a video game charger, and a few tomatoes that seem to have escaped the sink bath. I’m awesome like that.
Unfortunately, canning and preserving food is kind of a lost art. Probably because it’s become so inexpensive to buy these staples at the grocery. But with food prices going up so quickly, it only seems logical that growing and preserving your own food is going to come back into fashion. Does that mean I’m actually on the cutting edge of something?
I’m not so silly as to try and write a “How to Can Tomatoes” post for you. You’d be much better off checking out Simple Bites for a tutorial. That’s basically the method that we used. Except I wasn’t worried about keeping the tomatoes whole, so we quartered them and really jammed them in the jars. I’ll be chopping and smooshing them up to make chili and spaghetti sauce this winter, so they don’t need to look pretty.
There is something really comforting about knowing that I have some jars of home-grown tomatoes on the shelf. I’m a big fan of having a stash of food in the pantry in case we get snowed in by a blizzard, clobbered by a hurricane or we’re attacked by zombies and we can’t get out to the store. In any of those cases, I’ll be prepared to whip up a batch of sauce or soup with what I have on hand. Unless, of course, the zombies cut the gas line and my stove doesn’t work. Then we’ll be eating tomatoes out of jars which no one but me will enjoy, but if you get hungry enough, right?
End of zombie talk.
How pretty are all those jars? It took about 2 hours and we put up 18 quarts of tomatoes. It’s not nearly as difficult as I imagined. Actually, it’s quite easy.
Do you preserve any of your own food? Are you interested in learning?