5/24/13 UPDATE: I’ve been getting a few questions about tomatoes and yields and thought it would be great to revive last year’s #tomatolandia post. My first order of tomatoes is scheduled for June 1. I am happy report almost a full year later that I did not buy any canned tomatoes or ketchup for a full year.
I spent the greater part of last week preparing myself for #tomatolandia. I read about approximate yields, tomato-water separation, freezing v. canning, acidification and scoured pictures at trusted online sources. When my 40 pounds of tomatoes got loaded up into the back of my scubie, I was 100% not surprised.
The 8yo, on the other hand, was full-on panicked. And the husband? His first question was, “How long is it going to take you to can all these?” as he vividly imagined boxes of tomatoes rotting in our kitchen.
I was planning on waiting till Saturday morning to get started, but their slight panic made me re-think. I went at an oven-roasted batch straight away and decided that it would be best to try my crushed tomatoes in a water bath solo. It took me the greater part of the night, but come morning I was relieved that I went through my trial and error without the buzz of the house in the background and the 8yo peering over my shoulder.
The rest I was able to take in total stride and I am happy to report that it is totally possible to put up 40 pounds of tomatoes in three nights and two days without killing yourself if you have a plan. I roasted in the morning, spent the day doing regular household stuff (including cooking simple meals) and did my water-bath canning in the late afternoon. I ended up with this:
23 pints of crushed tomatoes
6 pints of oven-roasted tomatoes
1 1/2 pints salsa asada
2 pints salsa casera
2 pints sofrito
Fresh slices and chunks of tomato have already gone into our FLTs, veggie sandwiches, omelets, lentil salads and I am hopeful that the handful that I have left don’t disappear before I get a chance to make another batch of salsa.
Yay! I did it!
P.S. Don’t go bowling right before you embark on a weekend of blanching and peeling. The sore hand muscles/thumb you get from handling the heavy ball don’t come in handy.