Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Stages of Ripeness

My kitchen counter is currently occupied with tomatoes at different stages of ripeness.

Last year, as soon as a tomato got close to ripening on the vine, the dang birds would poke holes in them.  This year I try to snag them as soon as they start to turn.  Usually within a few days they ripen up. 

I have one batch that looks like I could can them today. 

Do you can as you go?  Even if it's only one or two quarts?  Or do you stick them in the fridge to slow things down until you get enough to can a batch?

I thought of making sauce with the first few smaller groups.  Then when I start getting a bunch coming in, I'll just can them up whole.

What works for you?


  1. I kind of can as I go. I will skin, core and put them in the jars. If I don't have 5 or 6 jars, I stick the jars in the frig. Then when I have enough. I bring them out and let them get to room temperature, heat clean caps and rings and put them on the jars. Then I will process a whole batch. A lot of people just put them in the freezer in bags and bring them out to make sauce and process when they have the time. I also can pints of tomatoes. The smaller jars definitely come in handy in a small household.

  2. If I dont have enough to make it worth my while to can, ....I eat them. I eat everyone one of them. I do not buy tomatoes -ever- so this is the only time I get to enjoy them. We eat them 3 meals a day. And the funny thing about tomatoes is they all seem to get ripe at once around here so your canning 100 jars in a day, usually a 100 degree day, uphill both ways ;)

  3. I don't can the tomatoes I grow here at the house...they're for slicing and sharing. I can the tomatoes my son grows in the field. We go out, pull up the whole plant and give it a hard shake over a 5 gallon bucket..the ripe ones fall in...I canned over 200 lbs last year and I'll double that this year...it's exhausting, but I love every minute.

  4. We can as we go. Usually we have a full canner but this year has been really wonky. We're in southern texas with the worst drought ever. I'm surprised we are still getting tomatoes but DH has been busting his butt to keep everything watered. We've only been doing this for about 4 yrs but we can about 70 quarts of tomatoes and 90 quarts of pickles per year. Everything else is up and down like a yo yo.

  5. What a harvest! Way to go Tami. That's a good question about canning, and one I'm always trying to answer. I don't can tomatoes though, mine get made into sauce. I make the batches of sauce in my crock pot and keep them in the fridge until I get enough for a load. I do sometimes use a tall, non-canner for water bath canning only a few jars. I also have two pressure canners in different sizes. One holds 4 quarts, the other 7. I use them both all summer.