Saturday, July 21, 2012

I Haven't forgotten

Hey guys, I have not forgotten about you guys.  It has been crazy busy around the farm.  I bought 3 milk goats all full of milk.  And I have been trying to build a milking parlor onto the side of our barn.  The temps have been over 100 degrees every day so I can only work until about 10 each morning on it.  It has been very slow going.  My garden has pretty much burned up except for the tomato's because of the high temps and the drought.  So all I have been canning is stewed tomato's and juice of which I have already given the instructions for.
I have been dabbling in cheesemaking and as soon as I am comfortable with it myself I will be putting this information on the blog.  I refuse to write about something that I myself am unsure of.  Once my cream seperator gets here and is up and running there will be ALOT of posts on dairy products.
Please everyone stay cool and hydrated.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Stewed tomatoes

Stewed tomatoes are so yummy.  They go in everything from meatloaf to stews or even just as a side dish.  Canning them has a few more steps than just regular canned tomatoes.

I do not measure but this is close:
For every 4 pounds of peeled sliced tomatoes you will need 1/4lb celery, bell peppers and onions

Wash your tomatoes.  Choose fruit that is firm and with no blemishes or small enough ones they can be easily trimmed.  Save the mushy or ones with large blemishes for making sauce.

Begin by peeling your tomatoes.  To do this bring a pot of water to boiling.  Drop the tomatoes in the boiling water and time for 3 minutes.  Then remove the tomatoes and place in a sink of ice water.  Then you can cut out the core and the peel will slide right off.

Chop your onions, peppers and celery.  I like to make my chunks pretty big.  Put this in a pot.  Then add your sliced peeled tomatoes.
 Bring the mixture on the stove to a boil and then remove from the heat.

Using a slotted spoon fill your jars leaving about 1/2 inch of headspace (sorry forgot to take a picture.) add salt 1/2 teaspoon for pints or 1 teaspoon for quarts

Then place lids and rings on and then process in a PRESSURE CANNER at 10 lbs for 20 minutes for pints and 30 minutes for quarts.  DO NOT USE A WATER BATH.  It is important to drain the tomatoes with your spoon as much as possible and pack them tightly.  They will shrink during canning and you will end up with some water in the bottom of the jar.  The trick is to have the least amount as possible.

Save the juice left in the pot for tomato juice.  You can run it thru a food sieve to remove the seeds.  Cook down a little more if you want it thicker.  This works great for a soup base or even just for drinking.  Add salt, pepper or seasonings to taste.  Remember they will get stronger from the canning process.  Then process it for the same amount of time/pressure as above.
Your juice may seperate with water at the bottom of the jar.  It is okay just shake it up...