Canned Stewed Tomatoes

Today was a canning day. Stewed tomatoes for lots of soup and chili days this winter. I bought a bushel of beautiful tomatoes from the farm market yesterday.

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Because I was making stewed tomatoes the first thing I did was diced one large sweet onion, two sweet peppers and three or four stalks of celery. I did red and yellow peppers but green will work too.

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Next step was to peel and core the tomatoes. I core and then put them in a pot of boiling water for a minute or so until the skins crack and slide off easily.

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I core and peel about a quarter bushel at a time. Then I did a bite size dice and put them in a large stainless steel kettle over medium heat.
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Once the tomatoes begin to simmer I stir in my diced vegetables and simmer them about 30 minutes.

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We like garlic so I stir minced garlic into the tomatoes just before I begin filling my jars.

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I use a canning funnel to ladle the hot tomatoes into jars that have been sterilized in boiling water. Once the jars are filled I add 1/2 tsp of sea salt and 1/8 tsp of citric acid.

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The last step is putting the jars into a hot water bath making sure I have a couple inches of water over the jar lids. Once the water comes back up to a boil set the timer…35 minutes for pints, 45 minutes for quarts.

Now I have awesome tomatoes to enjoy all winter long.

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Canning is a bit time consuming but not difficult at all. A half bushel of tomatoes yielded about 28 pints of stewed tomatoes. I will omit all the veggies for the second half bushel and hot pack a simple diced tomato.

Home-canned tomatoes make the best soups and chili and tomato sauce!

Pesto

A good friend gave me a beautiful bouquet of fresh basil from her garden.

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I find my salad spinner to be the best tool for washing fresh herbs.

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Once the basil is clean and dry it goes into the food processor:
2 cups of packed basil leaves
3 or 4 cloves of garlic
1/3 cup pine nuts
and pulse until leaves are finely chopped. With food processor running on low add in a slow, steady stream:
1/2 cup good olive oil

Add salt and pepper to taste.

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If you’re going to use immediately stir in:
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

I froze mine using a silicone ice cube tray. Cover tightly before putting in the freezer. I will add my Parmesan when I’m ready to use the pesto.

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Now all we need is some pasta.