Ya know, folks…I’ve never claimed to have a good memory. I know He did it for a reason, because God doesn’t make mistakes, but for some reason He saw fit to not install the memory module in me when He was doing the final
assembly work. This was brought home to me…again…today while I was canning tomatos, my first canning of the season.
I know, I know…its awfully late to be starting my seasonal canning, but I had garden problems, and then there was the poor results, then there was…ah, never mind the excuses, I was just lazy!
Anyway, this poor memory thing came up AGAIN today while I was canning my first batch, and it resulted in my deciding to write this post so I can pass along a little canning tip…the one I had forgotten because last canning season was more than 24 hours ago. which seems to be the length of my memory these days…hehehe…
So, once I got everything together…getting the canner out of the loft area (Y’all did not know a yurt could have a loft? Surprise!), digging the jar lifter out of the cobwebs clutching at it, making sure I had enough rings left that weren’t rusted beyond use, getting a few boxes of lids out of the…er…hold on a second…
Well, after a trip to the store I had the lids I THOUGHT I had left over from last year…the lids I thought were in the drawer…after all of that I got to work.
After rinsing the tomatos I plopped them into a large stock pot of boiling water to loosen the skins and make peeling the skins easier to remove.
A NOTE: Most recipes for tomato canning I have seen call for dipping them for about 60 seconds to loosen the skins. I have found 60 seconds to be a bit short, making skinning a little difficult. I usually put about 20 in the post at the time, and start timing AFTER the last one is in. 60 seconds later I start removing them, working from where the first ones added are bobbing around. This gives them about 90 seconds in the boiling water…not enough to hurt, but long enough to make slipping the skins off easier.
ANOTHER NOTE: You AREN’T throwing those skins…and cores for that matter…in the trash, are you? You are adding them to your compost bin, right?
You do HAVE a compost bin, RIGHT!!??
Anyway, after pulling them from the boiling water, I started slipping the skins off the tomatos…and got reminded of the little trick I forget every year.
Have you ever noticed that when removing the skins, they have all loosened all over the tomato…EXCEPT for right around the stem? No matter how much extra time you give them in the boiling water, that last little bit of skin around the stem never seems to loosen. I always thought that was because the skin just naturally held on better up around the top, and since a little bit of it left on the tomato didn’t bother me, I just kept going in the canning and never bothered to pick and pick to get that last little bit off, as it really didn’t hurt anything.
Well, I was wrong.
Ouch!!! Dang, it hurts saying that!
That last little bit of skin is harder to remove than the rest because the tomato hasn’t been boiled up at the top. Have you ever noticed that tomatos bob around in the water stem end up? The tops of them…at least those that aren’t held under the water completely by the ones on top…don’t get blanched as well as the part that is under water, and the skin doesn’t loosen as well. The simple solution is to use whatever you are going to be dipping them out with to keep lightly pushing them under while they are blanching.
Don’t complain…it gives you something to do while waiting. Look at it as an exercise in keeping your mind healthy…it keeps you from getting bored.