Tomatoes before the Storm

Hanna rolled through this weekend. Weathermen were forecasting strong winds. I wasn’t about to lose any of my tomato crop to it. So, I picked everything that was even remotely close to being ripe.

What bliss!

From My Cooking

I spent all day Saturday cooking and canning the tomatoes. I finally turned in at 1 am the next morning.

The round tomatoes from my Big Boy plant were either roasted or made into salsa.

The roasted tomato recipe was borrowed from Smitten Kitchen.

The salsa recipe was taken from one of my cookbooks: Southwestern Cookingby Jo Richardson. I altered it ever so slightly to accommodate Dan’s and my quirks. You see, he doesn’t like raw tomatoes (I keep telling him that he is living in the wrong house) and I don’t like raw onions (they taste so much better sauteed in butter).

Salsa Recipe:
8 fresh tomatoes (medium sized), diced
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, finely chopped and seeded (or leave a few of the seeds in for more heat)
1 tbsp olive oil (it goes better with tomatoes than butter)
red wine vinegar, a splash or to taste
pepper and salt to taste

Heat the olive oil on medium heat. Cook the onions and jalapenos until tender but not brown. Add the tomatoes and cook until the desired consistency is obtained. Add vinegar, pepper and salt to taste. Let cool. Serve immediately or refrigerate.

Warning: Please wear gloves when cutting the jalepeno. If you forget, you might think that you are stuck inside the Dune movie. Like Paul, you will be forced to insert your hand into the box. Your hand will start to tingle and then slowly heat up. Soon, it will feel like it is on fire.
I spent a good hour dunking my hand in ice cold water. As soon as I pulled my hand out, it felt like it was on fire again. I got desperate. Surely, there had to be some old wives’ tales about how to cure the burn.
The answer, if you should ever find yourself in the same predicament, is vinegar.
Soak your hand in vinegar for a half an hour. It will continue to burn. Keep it in the bowl of vinegar for the entire time. Then, wash your hands with Dove or another dish washing liquid. Sweet relief.

Back to the story of the tomatoes: The rest of the tomatoes were from my 5 Roma plants. After boiling them for about 30 seconds, I peeled, cored, and diced every last one. Afterwords, I separated them into quart jars, filling them almost full, but not quite. I then poured boiling hot water over the tomatoes, leaving a 1/2 inch head-space. Finally, the jars were boiled for 45 minutes.

My arm left arm was so sore the next morning from holding and turning all the tomatoes. It was worth it though. I ended up with 4 quarts of canned tomatoes.

From My Cooking

6 thoughts on “Tomatoes before the Storm

  1. They look terrific. That was my plan, to can, but alas I have no tomatoes to speak of due to my failed crop. However I need a refresher course on canning as it’s been years since I did that. I guess I will have to buy them from a farmer near by. That was a lot of work you did! Wow.

  2. Hanna was nothing here. But my tomatoes were terrible this year, no idea why. My husband has a habit of rubbing his eyes after cutting the hot peppers. You can’t soak your head for half an hour! I’ve nominated you for a Brilliant Blog Award. Details on mine. I always enjoy your posts.

  3. Yummmm….Your making me crazy!!! I didn’t get any tomatoes planted this year and have been kicking myself. kick, ouch, kick, ouch, kick, kick….
    Yours look very yummy!!

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