I don't know if there is another vegetable that is as versatile when it comes to canning as the homely tomato (it will always be a veggie to me!). This year I planted seven varieties, and am well on my way to preserving them in more than that many ways. My Nana is the one who taught me how to make sauce several years ago, and to this day I still do it the way she taught me. Like pretty much everything else in my life, I have taken the foundations I was taught and expanded upon them. This has led me to new varieties of tomatoes as well as new preparations for me to preserve.
I preserve different tomato types in different ways depending on which they are best suited for. Some make better sauce, others hold their shape better for diced, whole peeled, etc. I love finding new varieties and new ways to preserve the bounty of the summer, especially with pantry staples. It is a ton of work to say the least, but having shelves full of every type of tomato style you need in the dead of winter cannot be beat!
This year has been my biggest canning year to date, and I couldn't be more excited about it! By the end of the season, I anticipate to have put up close to 200 jars between the vegetables and jams. And this doesn't even factor in the gallons and gallons of frozen fruit, frozen veggies, chicken stock, beef stock, and lard! And to think I only used to do tomato sauce?! Each year I learn more, try new things, and push myself harder in the effort to be more self sufficient. Constantly having to add shelves in my pantry to make space is a good sign that I'm heading in the right direction! What are you favorite ways to preserve tomatoes?
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