Sunday, February 7, 2010

One Tomato... Two Tomato...

I've finally finished reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle!

There is a story the author tells about growing and canning her own tomatos for use the rest of the year.  I can't remember the exact number, but she had something like 300+ pounds of tomatoes that summer!

This got me thinking about my quest to can my own tomatoes this year.  How many cans of diced tomatoes are we going to need all fall, winter, and spring?  Crushed?  Stewed?  Of course, we can't leave out salsa, pasta and pizza sauce!  How many pounds of tomatoes are we going to need?

There is another small issue that I have to address.  I've never, ever made homemade pasta sauce with fresh tomatoes! Or salsa for that matter!

So here is my plan.  We will start with diced and crushed tomatoes.  I'll dedicate a whole week to canning crushed tomatoes, and then a whole week to diced.  In the meantime, I'll be trying out salsa and pasta sauce recipes until I find one that The Father and I like.  Then I'll dedicate a whole week to each of those.   I've decided our magic number will be 50!

That's right... 50 jars of each type of tomatoes!  We try to not eat the same meal twice in one week so this will give us enough jars to have chili, pasta, stew each week.  Will we eat all three each week?  Surely not, but the option is always there.  On top of that, the pasta sauce jars will be small because we only use about 1/2 a jar of store bought sauce per meal.  If I'm cooking for a larger crowd, I can open two jars.  In fact, most jars will be on the smaller side to mimick the metal cans you buy at the market.

LGB is going to spend his first summer making plenty o' trips to the farmer's market and will be smelling lots of tomatos cooking away!  It will be like my family's summer tradition of shucking (in the South, we shuck our corn!) 50 billion ears of corn each summer.  We'd sit on the kitchen floor for 2-3 days swimming in corn huskes and corn cobs.  We'd eat corn for 3 meals a day and watch as many rented movies as we possibly could.  At the end of our hard labor, my family would have enough homemade creamed, kernaled, and corn on the cob to last us until the next summer! 

My family had corn, LBG's family will have tomatoes.  Please don't ask where we will be storing all these tomatoes, we don't even know where we will be living as of yet.  We own a jelly cabinet who has been begging us to return him to his original purpose of holding homemade canned items!

If you are wondering how many pounds of tomatoes we will need, I can assure you of this:  It will be more that 1 and less than 1,000. 

Trivia for the day:  I HATE raw tomatoes!  I'll only eat them cooked as a sauce or in fresh salsa.  I only like the juice from the store, bought salsa jars!


A Baby Peach said...

My husband is the same exact way with tomatoes! What are you planning on storing them in? So far the jars I am finding have the same lids as those of store bought pasta jars which have BPA in them. Thoughts?

The Mother said...

We will most likely be using regular Ball jars because the food shouldn't touch the lid (at least in theory) and if it does its much less than an entire can lined with BPA.

If all goes well, we might invest in WECK jars for the rest of our canning days. They are just as reusable from what I understand.