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When Life Gives You a Wind Storm (part 2)

September 22nd, 2008

As many of you know, on the 14th a huge windstorm (remnants of Ike) came through Ohio and left many of us sans electric for a few days. Since Mr Chiots and I both work from home and we didn’t have electric we had a few days of unplanned vacation. I was planning on doing some canning so I had bought a bushel of tomatoes at the Farmer’s Market the Saturday before. I wanted to grill them so I could can a batch of fire-roasted tomatoes (I’m a huge fan of Muir Glen Fire Roasted Tomatoes, they were the inspiration to can my own). Since we had an excess of sticks in the yard and time on our hands, we decided to build another fire last Monday evening and roast up our tomatoes.

Roasting tomatoes is super easy. You just cut the tomato in half and put skin side down on the grill or fire (you can coat with olive oil if you aren’t canning them). When the skins get blackened pull them off the grill. The skins will easily slip from the tomato then all you have to do is process them in your favorite way. I like to crush mine or cut them up and add them to sauce.

I was able to can 7 quarts of fire roasted tomatoes on Monday. Add that to the 7 quarts I did a couple weeks ago and we’ve got the makings for a good many batches of chili or sauce in the pantry.

I had a bit of sauce left over that wouldn’t fit in the jars and I made some pizza sauce, it was so delicious. I think next time I get a bunch of tomatoes a batch of pizza sauce will be in the canner. So what’s your favorite way to use tomatoes?

9 Comments to “When Life Gives You a Wind Storm (part 2)”
  1. MeghanO on September 22, 2008 at 7:19 am

    Okay, I have to admit it… I know nothing about canning. In fact, I would go so far as to say that I’m scared of canning–can’t you get botulism from improperly canned foods? How does one do it properly?

    Reply to MeghanO's comment

  2. Susy on September 22, 2008 at 5:10 pm

    You can from beans & lower acid foods. Things like tomatoes & fruit usually spoil and you can tell. I have never had a jar of anything go bad. I even can chicken stock (you have to pressure can it for 1 hr & 30 min).

    There are tons of books at the library about canning, but the most popular is the Ball Blue Book of Canning. I have one and it explains in detail how to do everything safely.

    If you want to get started the easiest thing to do is jam or jelly or fruit butter. Super easy and safe (and since it’s water bath canned you don’t need any special equipment, just a rack for the bottom of a big pan or stock pot).

    I’ll try to review some canning books and do a few posts on canning for you Meghan.

    Reply to Susy's comment

  3. Joe on September 22, 2008 at 10:38 pm

    Best way to use tomatoes?

    I would agree with your idea of pizza sauce, as when homemade it must be delicious. But I think I’ll stop by the farmers market this weekend and pick up some heirlooms for tomato soup and stuffed tomatoes.

    Reply to Joe's comment

  4. Carolyn on September 24, 2008 at 11:45 am

    Yum! Putting this on my list to try next year!

    Carolyn

    Reply to Carolyn's comment

  5. Susy on September 24, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    It’s so fantastic in the winter to have smoky pizza sauce. Brings summer back!

    Reply to Susy's comment

  6. Dianna on September 27, 2008 at 9:20 am

    Could you please tell me how long you processed the fire roasted tomatoes? I’ve been looking for instructions but only could find some for pints. Please tell me what to add to the tomatoes (vinegar/lemon juice?) and how much and how long to process them please? I would really appreciate it! Thanks, Dianna

    Reply to Dianna's comment

  7. Susy on September 27, 2008 at 10:08 am

    Dianna, I processed the same amount of time as crushed tomatoes (because that’s what they are). Make sure you don’t add any oil during the process (if I’m going to use my tomatoes right away I usually lightly toss with olive oil before roasting).

    Directions for canning:
    Fire roast tomato halves, allow to cool and remove peels and seeds if desired (I only remove most of the peels, I leave some of the blackened pieces for flavor, I leave the seeds & cores in).

    Add the crushed roasted tomatoes to a pan & heat till simmering and cook for 5 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to each hot sterilized quart jar and a teaspoon of salt if desired (I usually salt later when using), fill with tomatoes and leave 1/2 inch headspace add hot lid and ring and process for 15 minutes at 10lbs of pressure in a pressure canner (I’m using these guidelines http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/HE174) and quarts should be water bath canned for 45 minutes (according to http://www.canning-food-recipes.com/canning_tomatoes.htm).

    Hope this helps. I pressure canned mine.

    Reply to Susy's comment

  8. Dianna on September 27, 2008 at 10:17 am

    Thanks a lot for your help. That’s just what I needed to know. Now I’ve got to get busy! Thanks again! Dianna

    Reply to Dianna's comment

  9. Fire Roasted Red Peppers | Chiot's Run on September 19, 2009 at 4:48 am

    […] to roast them over a fire out back. There’s just something wonderful about roasting peppers and tomatoes over a fire. It gives them a wonderful smoky flavor that you just can’t beat. I roasted some […]

    Reply to Fire Roasted Red Peppers | Chiot’s Run's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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