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Old 08-08-2012, 07:39 AM
bczoom bczoom is offline
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Default Tomato time! Lots of canning...

Tomatoes are coming in now.

Although I only planted 16 plants this year, the heirloom plants/seeds from last year had plants pop up all over the garden. I'm guessing there's around 300+ plants.

With that many plants, I'm now harvesting almost a full bushel every day. So far, that's a good thing. If/as we get overwhelmed, I've lined up a bunch of others to take them.

Canned our first batch yesterday. We've got a system down that works really well (and very fast).
To get the tomatoes ready:
- I clean/core/cube the tomatoes.
- Zoomer son runs the juicer.
- Zoomer daughter runs support (get the jars & equip. ready, keeps me loaded with tomatoes...)

For the canning process (picture below), it's a 4-person routine and we can take the sauce from pot to canned at a rate of about a quart a minute.

Starting from the canning pot and going clockwise around the table:
- Mrs. Zoom sanitizes the jars in the canning pots. Sets them on the stainless table.
- Zoomer son takes them from there and puts in the salt and citric acid (or lemon juice).
- Zoomer daughter then fills the jars (at the lipped glass tray, right side of table)
- I'm on the left side of table and clean the top of the jar and put on the flat/ring. Once I have a canning pot tray full, it's back to Mrs. Zoom to start the water bath and timer for that batch.
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:10 AM
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Default Re: Tomato time! Lots of canning...

Fucking urban deer ate my entire crop this year...bastards. Cleaned me out of green tomatoes in one night. So dry here they will eat anything with moisture in it. This never happened before.
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:15 AM
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Default Re: Tomato time! Lots of canning...

I had tomato pie for the first time Satuday night ............ It was great! I can't wait to go rob my buddies garden (his wife did the pie) tonight! BTW Brian I have a 60 quart pot w/burner if you need it!
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:42 AM
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Default Re: Tomato time! Lots of canning...

Quote:
Originally Posted by JEV View Post
Fucking urban deer ate my entire crop this year...bastards.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Dog View Post
BTW Brian I have a 60 quart pot w/burner if you need it!
I have one too. I'll bet they're the same. Cut the lid off of a 1/2 keg and put it on a turkey cooker. They're a bit too bulky for this process. We have a bunch of pots in the 12-20 quart range.
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:47 AM
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Default Re: Tomato time! Lots of canning...

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Originally Posted by bczoom View Post


I have one too. I'll bet they're the same. Cut the lid off of a 1/2 keg and put it on a turkey cooker. They're a bit too bulky for this process. We have a bunch of pots in the 12-20 quart range.
Nah, it's legit, has a strainer too! ................ used for boiling crawfish and peanuts when I lived in Loozyana. Just used it to do 6 dozen ear of corn a couple weeks ago ....
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:52 AM
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Default Re: Tomato time! Lots of canning...

So tell me Dawg, how many dozen ears can you get in a cooker that size?

I completely forgot about mine last time I did corn. I had 30 dozen ears to do and I used the same pots pictured in the first post of this thread.
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Old 08-08-2012, 09:00 AM
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Default Re: Tomato time! Lots of canning...

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So tell me Dawg, how many dozen ears can you get in a cooker that size?

I completely forgot about mine last time I did corn. I had 30 dozen ears to do and I used the same pots pictured in the first post of this thread.
6 was comfortable might push it to 7 or 8 without the strainer.
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Old 08-08-2012, 09:10 AM
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Default Re: Tomato time! Lots of canning...

BTW mine is bigger around than a keg. I would think it would help packing them in.

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Old 08-08-2012, 09:16 AM
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Default Re: Tomato time! Lots of canning...

Our tomatoes are just starting to ripen. Going to do peaches today I believe.
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Old 08-08-2012, 09:26 AM
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Default Re: Tomato time! Lots of canning...

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BTW mine is bigger around than a keg. I would think it would help packing them in.
Dang - that is short and wide. I was expecting taller and thinner. At 100+ pounds (full), you're pretty limited on your cooking source.
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Old 08-08-2012, 09:32 AM
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Default Re: Tomato time! Lots of canning...

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Dang - that is short and wide. I was expecting taller and thinner. At 100+ pounds (full), you're pretty limited on your cooking source.




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Old 08-12-2012, 10:11 AM
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Default Re: Tomato time! Lots of canning...

Bump.

30 more quarts of Spaghetti sauce on Friday. :)

Doing it again today.

Question - Mrs. Zoom wants to know if we can cook the onions before adding them to the sauce? We've always done raw. Not sure if anything changes if you cook them before canning.
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Old 08-12-2012, 10:33 AM
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Default Re: Tomato time! Lots of canning...

luv garden tomatoes. my Pap grew veggies. my Dad grew 'em. me & my Dad planted melon. was like 11 or 12. they grew not to fruition. luved garden tomatoes @ my Pap's. fresh from the vine, warm, sliced s/p.
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Old 08-12-2012, 10:42 AM
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Default Re: Tomato time! Lots of canning...

I would not worry whether you cook the onions or not. If you have any extra zucchini they shred up nice in a food processor to add to the sauce. We did a bunch that way last year. We also added diced up green peppers and a few bits of hot ones to some of it.
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Old 08-12-2012, 10:49 AM
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Default Re: Tomato time! Lots of canning...

Thanks Bill.

We'll be adding green and banana peppers. Never thought to add zucchini.
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Old 08-12-2012, 11:06 AM
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Default Re: Tomato time! Lots of canning...

She adds all kinds of strange stuff when I ain't looking. Saw this stuff on the stirfry that looked like brown sugar. Turns out she has been adding flax seed and some ground up herb to a lot of stuff lately. You don't really taste it and supposedly it is good for you. Our first big round of tomatoes should come by next weekend. What we have been picking has been getting eaten quickly.
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Old 08-12-2012, 11:11 AM
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Default Re: Tomato time! Lots of canning...

Quote:
Originally Posted by muleman View Post
Our first big round of tomatoes should come by next weekend. What we have been picking has been getting eaten quickly.
I've been averaging about 1/2-3/4 bushel a day now. Haven't been in the garden yet this weekend but expecting another bushel or so today.

I kind of wish they would hurry. Since I had so many pop out of the ground from last year, I transplanted a bunch into a new raised-bed garden but I need the tomatoes out of there so I can get the garlic in.
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Old 08-12-2012, 11:20 AM
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Default Re: Tomato time! Lots of canning...

We lost a lot of our early tomatoes to frost. Not a big deal as we have a lot coming yet and still have some of last years to use up. Pulled a bunch of onions yesterday and have beets that need pulled so we can plant a second crop. The second planting of peas the chickens reached through the wire and ate. I need to get a roll of 2X4 wire to make an A frame fence so they can't reach them. They sure have a field day eating grasshoppers and bugs around the fruit trees.
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Old 08-12-2012, 11:41 AM
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Default Re: Tomato time! Lots of canning...

I've always been told that you need to use a pressure caner for tomatoes.

I make a lot of spaghetti sauce that I freeze, but I'd like to can it instead. Since it's meat based, I'm pretty sure I do have to use a pressure caner.
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Old 08-12-2012, 11:53 AM
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Default Re: Tomato time! Lots of canning...

Dave, here is a great resource for canning info. We usually freeze our sauce with meat in it. Others we jar.
http://nchfp.uga.edu/
This one deals with pressure canning.
http://www.pickyourown.org/canningqa_pressure.htm
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