Last week, I ordered 20 lbs of San Marzano paste tomatoes and 10 lbs of heirloom (Cherokee Purple, Red Zebra, Brandywine, etc). The paste tomatoes are perfect for sauces and canning, while the heirlooms are great for slicing and eating fresh with salt and pepper. I looooooove tomatoes. They are my favorite food so when I saw that Johnson's Backyard Garden was selling them in bulk, I knew I wanted to preserve some for the winter. Homegrown tomatoes taste so much better than store bought that you can't even compare the two.
|Ain't that purdy.|
|I ate 10 lbs of these heirlooms in a week. No joke.|
The paste tomatoes are alright to eat, but they are really suited for canning. They have a firm flesh, small core and few seeds. They cook up with a nice consistency too. Canning is much simpler than I used to think. You 1) blanch, 2) prep, 3) pack, 4) process. Not much more than that.
|We had 20 lbs of San Marzanos altogether.|
|Put them into jars along with some lemon juice and salt.|
Ta-da! Canned tomatoes.
I got nearly 10 quarts with 20 lbs of tomatoes. Not too bad. As you can see, I canned the tomatoes with only salt. This way, I can make them any way I want to later. For the batch that I'll get next week, I'll be making up some spaghetti sauce and salsa, too. As far as salsas go, I pretty much like it all. D, though, is particular about his salsa. He also eats a lot more of it than I do so he's coming up with a custom recipe for the big batch. I might also go crazy and get a whole bunch of tomatillos to make my favorite tomatillo salsa!
Can't wait for next week!