Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Heirloom Tomatoes


Probably because I have only canned a couple of times in my life, I find the sound of the popping lids exciting. I wait for it, stand over my jars eagerly listening for the tell tale sound that the canning processed has worked. 


I am amazed that my perseverance can accomplish such things. That in this day and age of pre-processed everything that this is still something I can do for myself.  Canning is not easy, it is a long process and it has some fear associated with it. First I had to buy tomatoes.... my attempt at growing them failed miserably, luckily I have a favourite source Garden Back to Eden Organic. GBE grows heirloom varieties in a greenhouse but not using hydroponics, this gives them a longer growing season and a better tasting product. It is also the reason I can still can in November!?
Next I had to core & remove the the skins... cram them into jars with the correct acid ratio and boil 85 minutes as suggested by the USDA canning Guide. It is the last two things that scare me.... acid, correct boiling time or what... each jar becomes a vessel of death? Botulinum is scary stuff, they (the USDA) even recommend that if you suspect a canned jar of containing said bacteria that you should handle it with heavy rubber gloves and detoxify, that any contact either ingestion or skin can and could be fatal. Fortunately the USDA's guide has a section on how to identify the spoiled food and I should not have to subject my family to undue danger.


I don't want to can because it is a foodie thing to do, I don't know if I subscribe to that label. I want to do it because I think of myself as a maker, that it gives me great pleasure and confidence to be able to do something that my family has done for generations.... and well I am a sucker for the popping lids.


Photos by me.












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