39 cups

I scored a half-bushel of “canning tomatoes” for $6 from the local farm yesterday. They weren’t tasty enough that we felt bad passing them up for fresh eating – but just perfect for canning and the right price too.

We ate about a 1/4 of them yesterday – in a ratatouille, gazpacho, and a couple like apples with seasoned salt – yum! Then we set about blanching and peeling the rest.

With my mother-in-law’s help it went very fast!

It took about an hour to get all the tomatoes ready, which was just right for bringing the huge water bath canner to a boil with all the sterile jars in it. We heated up and crushed the tomatoes with a potato masher. Six lemons later (2 tbsp per quart), we had:

39 cups of beautiful home-canned tomatoes. Not home-grown, but still local.

And let’s do the math. A pint (16oz) of tomatoes goes for $1.75 at our grocery. We made 19.5 pints and spent $6 total, or 31 cents per pint. That’s a savings of $28.13!

Too bad I can’t add the value of these jars to my spreadsheet, since I didn’t grow them myself. Oooh I can’t wait til my own tomatoes ripen up – they must be the slowest tomatoes in all of Maryland!

7 Responses to “39 cups”

  1. ohiofarmgirl Says:

    GREAT work!!!!

  2. Darcy Says:

    I’m going to have to talk to you about canning tomatoes, because we eat them here like there is no tomorrow and I’m anxious about giving my family botulism (I’m sure I have nothing to worry about, but I’m paranoid about it!) I have a *HUGE* pressure/water bath canner – So for each quarter jar of crushed tomatoes you put 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and….that’s it? Boil it in the canner for…15 min? 20 min? 24 hours?!?!?! :smile: You are my hero.

  3. diana Says:

    Hey babe – I better email you the recipe because it’s a bit more complicated than that – but if you really have that many tomatoes (jealous!) and are worried about botulism, consider getting the Ball Book of preserving from the library! You can rest easier knowing that tomatoes are a high acid fruit though and pose little risk, especially if they’re heirlooms; the Italians don’t even include lemon juice or salt (1 tsp per quart in this recipe) when they can.

  4. Heidi Says:

    Hey, good work!
    Remember the time I got a FREE box of blemished tomatoes at the Farmer’s Market–they were closing up and didn’t want to take them back to the farm 2 hrs away–I made spaghetti sauce. It was a great feeling–I had just been laid off, but we were able to eat like KINGS.
    Keep it up.

    But more pictures of the little princess….ok?

  5. Alex Says:

    Don’t forget the cost of the lemons, and the gas to boil the jars for an hour. So you might be up to $0.90/pint. Still a lot cheaper than buying at the store, and probably more fun!

  6. diana Says:

    True, Alex, true. At least I didn’t have to pay for the jars – not only were they free, but I can reuse them forever. (Unless I keep being dumb and forgetting that some are in the sink cold, and absentmindedly pour the extra boiling water over em and crack em in half. Sigh.)

  7. Alex Says:

    Er, make that $0.60/pint. Math skills are lacking today. :)

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