Garden Diary - October 2018

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Canning Tomato Sauce

Friday, 5 October 2018

Yesterday some members of the Tohickon Garden Club went apple picking at Snyder Research Farm of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station. We picked a total of 1,363.2 pounds of produce for the food bank: 793 pounds of Empire, Macoun, and Fuji apples; 475.5 pounds of European pears and Asian apple-pears; 71.3 pounds of winter squash; and 23.4 pounds of tomatoes. As well, we were allowed to pick some produce for ourselves. The tomato plants were being removed. The food bank only accepts undamaged fruit. I picked for them, and took blemished fruit for myself, with tomato sauce in mind.

Rinse tomatoes, cut away stem end and spots, then cut in half.

I have a device, a Victorio strainer. Easy to assemble, simple to use. It is easy to put together / take apart and put back in its box for storage. Other than the screen, which is fiddly what with the small holes, it is easy to clean after using. I also have a few other screens for it - one for blackberries to sieve out seeds, one to puree cooked winter squash, etc.

It purees the tomatoes, sending the pulp feeding out the side chute. Squeezed dry,
skin and seeds feed through the Archimedes screw and come out the front.

When ready to can I added 1/4 teaspoon of citric acid per pint jar to be sure of suitably low pH. That's my preference to lemon juice or vinegar, which I find affect the flavor.

Sterilize pint canning jars, heat the tomatoe puree, pack,
and process in a boiling water bath canner for 40 minutes.

Why can rather than freeze? No worry about power outages,
no need to defrost at last minute change of dinner plans.

And there is a feeling of satisfaction, looking at the jars, holding summer's flavorful tomatoes.

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