My name is Laura T. and I work in the Special Events department at Stampin’ Up! I’ve been here for almost four years now and I love it! Some of you may remember my blog post about spring chicks last year, and will be surprised to learn that in addition to chicken-keeping, I am an avid gardener and canner! Canning is by far one of my favorite hobbies because it lets you (literally) eat the fruits of your labor.
Each year, my partner, Matt, and I head to the local community garden plant sale and purchase 20– 30 interesting heirloom tomato starts to plant in our backyard garden. My favorites include Pink and Red Brandywines, Pink Oxhearts, 1884s, and Pineapple tomatoes. Each of these tomato varieties grow to be 1–2 pounds and are very fleshy—meaning that they are mostly meat and not a lot of water. I prefer this type of tomato for canning pasta sauce because you don’t have to cook it down for quite as long . . . and you get more sauce in the end.
Most canners prefer to gather tomatoes and process them on a weekly basis; however, I find that life is simply too busy to keep up with a regimented canning schedule in the summer—which is why I freeze my tomatoes! That’s right, folks, I gather my tomatoes when they are at their very ripest, throw them in a plastic bag (I don’t even blanch them first!), toss them in the freezer, and wait until I have more time later in the year to deal with them (usually after the holiday season).
I finally found time to can pasta sauce a couple of weekends ago. I hope you enjoy reading about my adventure and add canning your own pasta sauce to your “must-do” list for 2014.
It took me hundreds of tomatoes and 10 hours of labor to can 19 jars of pasta sauce, but it was worth it! We make pasta at least once a week at our house, and having fresh, homemade sauce really makes a difference!
I have never thought to freeze the tomatoes whole. What a great idea! Now to carve out enough room in my deep freeze for this summer's tomatoes.
You are making me hungry! Thanks for the tips and how are the chicks? We are finally getting eggs from our 22 weeks olds. See you soon! Hugs, Di
Wow, that's great you grow all those things yourselves and can them. I have frozen tomatoes like you do, too, but didn't realize you could still can them or make pasta sauce like that! I might have to give that a try. I do can my tomatoes when they are fresh, but after a while you get tired of that and relent to tossing them in a freezer bag and into the freezer! You can also skin them easily when frozen by running warm water over the tomatoes!
I'm going to try this with tomoatoes from the Farmer's Market this year. We're trying to eat foods that are less processed and at least if I process it myself, I 'll know exactly what's in it!! Thanks, Laura!!