Posted on 22 October 2009 by tomatocasual.com
By Vanessa Richins
“In the canning process, it calls to add 2 Tbl lemon juice to quart jars, totally blew it and forgot.Â They are all sealed correctly. Should it be thrown away? Can I reprocess with the lemon juice, or reboil and go through processing again?”
Hi Jim! First, we should explore why they’re asking you to add lemon juice to your tomato juice.
The main culprit you’re trying to battle when you’re canning foods is a bacteria called Clostridium botulinum, which occurs in the soil and is the cause of botulism, a paralyzing illness.
There are two basic styles of canning – boiling and pressure. The method you use is determined by what you are canning. If you are working with highly acidic (below 4.6 pH) fruits and vegetables (which includes many tomatoes), you can Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on 10 September 2008 by tomatocasual.com
By Vanessa Richins
Tomato Casual reader Chris W writes:
“I just started canning and I am having trouble. I canned whole tomatoes by the BALL BOOK. They started to bubble and produce gas. I threw them away. I didn’t want to mess with it.
So I tried making my own sauce. It been about a week and again now the sauce is producing gas. They seal well. And I cook them like i am supposed to. I don’t know what i am doing wrong.”
I am sorry you are having trouble with your canning!
With the help of former Tomato Casual Contributor Amy Jeanroy, I will go over the canning steps and the reasons why you may have bubbling and gas.
One note : boiling water is extremely important in the canning process. It sterilizes the jar and contents, killing bacteria. Use boiling water as noted below.
1. Use hot water to wash the jars. You need to Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on 13 August 2008 by tomatocasual.com
By Kira Hamman
It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for – the plants you painstakingly nurtured through needy infancy and difficult adolescence are coming to maturity and producing red, ripe tomatoes.
Pounds of them.
Pounds, and pounds, and pounds of them.
You’re eating tomatoes at every meal, canning and freezing as much as humanly possible, and still they keep coming.
What’s a tomato gardener to do?
1. Keep eating! Remember the dark days of winter, when a garden fresh tomato is but a distant memory, and have just a few more. You’ll be glad you did.
2. Feed your friends. Speaking as someone who went through a gardenless period a while back, I can tell you that they’ll be grateful.
3. Leave the best ones on Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on 02 July 2008 by tomatocasual.com
By Michael Nolan
First, a quick note about the photo: Don’t try it.
It is a joke. Seriously.
With so much time and energy devoted to selecting, planting and growing your lovely tomato plants, it is easy to let the harvest sneak up on you before you’ve had the chance to make plans.
The first response I expect to be flashing in your minds is “what the heck do I need plans for? I’m going to eat them!” TouchÃ©, my friends. TouchÃ©.
But if you are growing more than one or two tomato plants, you will likely have Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on 22 February 2008 by tomatocasual.com
By Michelle Fabio
In a sad reminder to tomato canners everywhere, 14 people were recently admitted to a Russian hospital, one of whom later died, because of an outbreak of botulism; the source was found to be homemade canned tomatoes consumed at a family gathering.
Botulism is an illness caused by the toxin “botulin” produced by Clostridium botulinum. As this toxin is one of the most powerful, for humans even one microgram can be lethal.
While botulism is a rather rare illness–there are usually fewer than 30 food-borne cases of botulism per year in the United States–and particularly in a food with high acidity like tomatoes, it can be deadly.
Here are a few things you can do to prevent botulism from affecting you and your family.
(1) As high temperatures Read the rest of this entry »