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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Monday, October 06, 2008

Traditional Stewed Tomatoes

If you have been reading this blog you will know that the majority of tomato products that I put up are something other than plain tomatoes. One reason for this is to stock my pantry with convenient, ready-to-use homemade products. This ends up saving me both time and money through-out the year. It also maximizes my use of mason jars as well as freezer space for those tomato products I freeze. Instead of using three mason jars to can individual components for a sauce, I can use one mason jar by canning the finished sauce something that is important when finding storage room for a year or more worth of home canned products. This also makes good economic sense as the number of times the canner is run is greatly reduced as well as the number of jars and lids needed. Each lid costs 8¢ (or more depending on the source) which doesn't sound like a lot but averaging a little over 1,000 jars that works out to $80 so every time I can reduce the number of lids used is ultimately a savings. Each time run the canner costs about 31¢ so running it less saves not only money but reduces my carbon footprint.

Why am I stressing the economics of canning? Home canning can save you a substantial amount of money on your food budget even if you do not grow your own produce. For example using my free source of tomatoes which compares to home grown, 9 hampers averaging 14 - 500 ml jars is 126 jars of finished product at a cost of $10.08 for lids, $2.79 for electricity and about $8 (likely less) for miscellaneous ingredients or about 17¢ per 500 ml jar. This is considerably cheaper than even the dollar store! Even though the products are so cheap there is always ways to reduce the costs and every time you reduce the cost that's money in your pocket!

Why am I stressing being eco-friendly when canning? Canning is very eco-friendly. I have jars that are 30 years old or older still in use. Think of how many tin cans that has saved over that period of time. This year I will hit very close to the 1,500 jar mark for a yearly total. In one year that means I will have not used that same amount in tins cans! Just with that I have greatly reduced our household carbon footprint but because the jars are re-usable they continue to reduce our carbon footprint. To reduce further always run the canner at full capacity (not always possible) at the lowest setting to maintain proper pressure and where ever possible use a pressure canner instead of a boiling water bath canner especially for tomato products.

Traditional Stewed Tomatoes

Traditional stewed tomatoes are a must have pantry item! You can used them as a base for soups, stews and casseroles. Pictured are 3 litres and on 500 ml jar of stewed tomatoes. More jars of stewed tomatoes will join these in my pantry shortly. They are very easy to make.

Traditional Stewed Tomatoes
Bernardin, Tomatoes Canning & Specialty Recipes. 2000. Pp. 60

16 c prepared tomatoes
1 c chopped celery
½ c chopped onion
¼ c chopped green pepper
1 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tsp dried basil

Wash, peel and chop the tomatoes. Prepare the other ingredients. Mix all together in large stock pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer. Simmer 10 minutes. Ladle into hot sterilized jars. Remove any air pockets. Wipe rim. Process at 10 lb pressure for 20 minutes (L jars) or 15 minutes (500 ml jars) at altitudes below 1,000 feet above sea level. Adjust for altitude if necessary (chart here).

4 food lovers commented:

Shari Thomas said...

Stewed Tomatoes on Bread is one of my very favorite comfort meals.

Simply butter the bread and spoon boiling hot stewed tomatoes over the bread slices. Using a shallow dish, you can get two slices of bread and a whole lotta tomatoes.

Garden Gnome said...

That sounds like a good way to use stewed tomatoes Shari! I best put up a few more jars.

Garden Gnome said...

Helen there are few ways you can go wrong with tomatoes. Any way you slice they are great! These were nice tomatoes to work with.

Black Cat said...

Can't wait to make mine this year.