Canning Tomato Perfeci

Let me just throw out the disclaimer that I am no canning expert. There are men and women who have spent a lifetime canning. There are Master Canners out there, who look at our canning recipes and translate them into something that won’t kill everyone we feed. I am not one of those. I’m not even close. I’m the kind of person who mostly follows the recipes and hopes for the best. Sometimes I forget to put the citric acid in the bottom of the jars. None the less, I now consider myself an intermediate canner. I have just enough knowledge to be dangerous and that means I’m ready to start forging out on my own. Don’t worry, I’m still following the recipes. I’m not going to kill you with Christmas goodies…hopefully! I’m going to go the gardeners route and start perfecting the ingredients that I put into the jars, starting with your favorite and mine, the tomato.I am seeking the perfect canning tomato.

My perfect canning tomato is the following:

1. Above all else, it has excellent flavor. This should need no further discussion. You reap what you sow in the kitchen.

2. It has few seeds but is not virtually seedless. Seedless foods never taste as good as the seeded varieties. I give you seedless watermelons as my proof. I also want to save seed from my best varieties and share them with my loved ones. It’s hard to do that when you only have six seeds from your best fruit.I also don’t want to hunt all over the tomato when I’m de-seeding it, Like I would have to with a beefsteak variety.

3. It has some juice. The San Marzanos (here I go again, hating on the San Marzanos) have very little juice and are therefore, mealy and tinny in flavor. It’s also hard to make bloody mary mix from them and at the end of the canning day, a girl needs a cocktail.

4. It has a high flesh to skin ratio. For those of you science nerds, that would be a high mass to surface area ratio. For those of you who are not science nerds (that’s OK, I still like you) I want a lot of flesh for every tomato I peel. I hate, hate, HATE peeling lots of tomatoes. It’s what takes the longest when making sauce. The kids will also appreciate this trait since I have started making them help on tomato canning day. They hate peeling, too though admittedly, it is more fun with company.

5. The plants produce a large amount of fruit. Again, a no brainer. I want some bang for my buck. I want enough fruit to make canning worth it. 20 lbs of fruit per plant would be ideal but I doubt many pants can reach their full potential in Prunedale.

I’m working on choosing next year’s varieties. Since I didn’t do any winter gardening, I have lots of time to dream about spring. besides, we’re just three months from when I like to start seeds, although I think I’ll start them in February this year. Stand-by for the 2012 tomato list. I’m sure I’ll have some to sell this year (since I have no self-control.) I have plans for a fall shindig next year when we can all get together and can together. In the event that the perfect tomato doesn’t manifest next year, I’m going to want some company while I skin all those tiny tomatoes.


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by husband on November 11, 2011 at 09:17

    I thought about changing the “…pants in Prunedale”, but decided it’s funnier your way. Lesser me may take issue.


  2. Posted by husband on November 11, 2011 at 09:17

    Lesser men.


  3. Posted by Moo on November 11, 2011 at 20:33

    THE JUICES!!!!


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