Canning Your Abundance

It's tomato season, and the San Marzanos, pink cherry tomatoes, green Big Boys, and Black Krims are coming in faster than we can eat them. That's a great problem to have! Our answer to a bountiful harvest is to can the produce, and our organic technique lasts a full year. Here's our easy how-to guide:

Supplies needed:

- wide-mouth mason jars, preferably quart-size

- wide-mouth jar bands and lids

- boiling water canner (see below)

- slotted spoon and paring knife

- grips to lower the jars into the water canner and remove them

- tomatoes, lemon juice, and basil

1. Sanitize the jars and jar bands in the dishwasher and allow to dry completely. Wash the tomatoes and check for bad spots, removing any spots with a paring knife.

2. Get that water boiling. You'll need a boiling water canner, a large pot to boil the tomatoes in, and a separate pot to add boiling water to the canner and tomato pot as the water evaporates.

3. Boil those beauties until the peels crack, then transfer them to a sink full of ice cold water to cool.

4. Carefully peel the tomatoes. Drop the nice ones into a sanitized jar, and any that have fallen apart or feel a little too firm into a blender to use as filler sauce. Place the peels into a compost bin to truly enjoy the farm to table to farm experience!

5. Put a little blended tomato in the bottom of the jar if desired. (Mr. Man loves to do this to protect the tomatoes from squishing.)

6. Fill the jars completely, leaving about an inch of headspace at the top of the jar. Add 2 tbsp lemon juice, and top with fresh basil from the garden to get that Italian tomato taste.

7. Boil in the water canner for 20 minutes, then place on a kitchen towel to cool. You'll hear a "pop" from time to time as the lids seal. Label with today's date and next year, and get ready to enjoy fresh sauce for every season!

Matching t-shirts are optional, but fun is mandatory. Let me know what you like to can, and your favorite methods in the comments below!

Bless your garden,

Dallas Farmer Gal

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