Nothing new or exciting with the cows today. They are growing nicely, dealing well wth the weather, and otherwise…there! Gives Mike time for harvesting, hauling, and delivering the produce, as well as other farm chores. I believe the following is the plan for the day here at the house.
It looks like it is tomato juice day today on the farm. The plants are hitting the season in abundance, so we will be canning a few, but making a lot a juice that will be used this winter for soups, stews, chili, and sauces.
We do it a little differently, so I thought my readers might be interested, even if there are no pictures to post of it.
After picking the vine ripened tomatoes, they get a good bath in the sink and are then cored and the blossom end removed. We also take off any imperfections, cracks, unripened areas and so forth. So right here, our way is different from dunking them in boiling water to remove the skins. We leave them on at this point.
The tomatoes are then quartered or even eighthed according to their size and placed in a deep stock pot to simmer until soft, stirring occasionally. They will become juicy and you will notice a little of the peels starting to curl onto themselves. That is as it should be.
Once the tomatoes have cooked this way, it is time to make the juice. Here’s the trick. If you don’t have a KitchenAid mixer and the juicer attachment that looks like a cone, get one! It will save you soooooooo much time. The tomatoes are ladled into the juicer with a large bowl under it to catch the juice and the tip of it over another to catch the peel, seeds, and anything else the machine casts off. It’s that easy for the fresh tomato juice. We measure it out before proceeding
For canning them, we reheat the juice to 190 degrees, salting to taste. Then the equivalent of 2 Tbsp.bottled lemon juice per quart (now you know why we measured the juice) is added to the batch after reaching temperature. It is ladled into hot jars and processed. 40 minutes per pint or 45 minutes per quart in a boiling-water canner.
Fresh herbs, hot sauce, or spices can be added on the reheat, but should be removed before canning.
The nice thing about the boiling-water canner is you do not need any special or expensive equipment. You only need a pan with a lid large enough to hold your jars and 1″ of water over the top of them.