September 4, 2010 Leave a comment
The answer is NO. Absolutely not, you cannot have too many tomatoes.
Although, it may seem like you do when you order over 20lbs of them in bulk from your CSA for canning. I think it was just first-time-canning-tomatoes-jitters, but I was terribly worried I wouldn’t be able to get through all of them. Thankfully, peeling tomatoes (which I had never done before) is so amazingly, miraculously easy that prepping these tomatoes for processing only took about an hour out of my evening, and I still managed to make dinner! (If you don’t know – all you do is cut a little cross in the base of each tomato, dunk them in boiling water for 60 seconds and then immerse them immediately into cold/ice water. The skin comes right off!)
I decided to turn all 20lbs into canned crushed tomatoes, because I’ve found that’s what I buy most frequently at the store. I think this is a good way of choosing what you’re going to can. If you buy whole peeled – can whole peeled. If you buy crushed, then get crushing. This will, hopefully, prevent you from running out to buy the aluminum canned variety at the store mid-winter, when the only fresh tomatoes in sight are Florida, California or Chile. Unfortunately, I wasn’t aware that cooking the tomatoes for more than 5 minutes would break down their natural pectin causing separation in the jars. Some of them don’t look perfect, but they’ll still be just fine to eat!