You may have noticed that I haven't been posting much in the last week or so. We have been putting up vegetables from our garden and some that we have gotten from local growers. Amanda at Coping With Frugality commented in this post that she would like instructions on what I did so I'll be starting posts on those.
This first post is for tomatoes. We got several boxes from a local grower and did three different batches as they ripened.
After having several jars of tomatoes spoil last fall, I decided to freeze all of the tomatoes this season. We have plenty of room in the outside freezer and freezer bags are not very expensive (actually cheaper than jars).
- Bring water to nearly a boil in a large stockpot or dutch oven. This water will be used to scald the skins on the tomatoes. It doesn't have to be boiling but it does need to be HOT. I have found that scalding the skins doesn't waste as much of the tomatoes as cutting away the skins with a knife.
- Wash tomatoes and place in stockpot with hot water. Leave for a couple of minutes. When you notice the skins slipping, you can remove the tomatoes and add more. My husband and I do this together. He adds the tomatoes and removes them. Then I continue with the next step.
- Let tomatoes cool a few minutes and remove skins. Remove any hard core, stems, etc.
- Then cut up into the sizes that you prefer for later use. Add cut up pieces to a thick stockpot and boil.
- Tomatoes are blanched when they start to form a lighter red color foam on top.
- Let cool enough to handle(this may take a while) and scoop into freezer bags.
- Once cooled even more, bags can be placed in freezer.
If you don't have one of these canning funnels, get one. It makes getting the vegetables into jars or freezer bags much easier. I have a metal one like this and a plastic one. Either one is fine. The metal one belonged to my grandmother so I have kept it, but I probably use the plastic one the most.