Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Who Says Old Food Tastes Bad?

If you haven’t noticed already, there have been a great abundance of tomatoes in the markets recently and they are extremely cheap. Instead of purchasing tons of tomatoes in order to make use of all the miscellaneous tomato recipes you have collected over the years think about preserving!

When I was growing up in small town Pennsylvania, one of my favorite activities to do was to help my grandmother can and preserve vegetables at the end of the summer. Canning for her was a chore and something she dreaded to do at the end of the summer, but when we did it together it was fun!

Here is one simple method of preserving tomatoes at home:

Step 1: Wash tomatoes in cold water. Carefully remove tomato stems, and place tomatoes in a strainer.

Step 2: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place tomatoes in the boiling water for about a minute. Remove tomatoes from the pot and immediately rinse them in ice cold water. Peel the skin off.

Step 3: Place tomatoes in clean mason jars.

Step 4: Place the jars into a pressure cooker or hot water bath and follow instructions carefully. This is the freshest way to preserve tomatoes.

Step 5: Store frozen tomatoes in a deep freeze for up to a year. Store frozen tomatoes in a regular freezer for up to 6 months.

Step 6: Store pressure-cooked tomatoes or hot-water bath tomatoes in a cool dark place. Use the tomatoes within a year.

Your jarred tomatoes make a great gift for your friends throughout the holiday season. While whole steak and chicken can last in your freezer for almost an entire year, canned fruits and vegetables can often last longer. If you follow the proper techniques of preserving your food, you can enjoy their great taste a year or two later.

If canning tomatoes with your family makes you want to can more food items check out the book "The Complete Book of Home Preserving", which has various ways to can and it also has many recipes that are great to use with preserved foods. Remember preserving does not need to be a chore when you turn it in to a fun family activity!

Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
$23.96 at Barnes and Noble

Water Bath Canner
$45 at

Pressure Cooker
$89.99 at

Tell me about your favorite preserving methods and memories!