Canning tomatoes with dad

I recently had the privilege of spending a day canning some yummy, homegrown tomatoes with my dad.

We decided to use half of our garden tomatoes to make canned spaghetti sauce and the other half for just good, old-fashioned, canned tomatoes (which we use in many different recipes).

For the sauce, we were able to use a nifty machine called a Squeezo Strainer to separate the tomatoes from their skins without needing to blanch them first. Note: Blanching is the process of cooking something briefly in boiling water (about 30 seconds) and then transferring it to an ice water bath, which causes the skin to loosen so it can be easily removed.

Squeezo Strainer (source:

Here is a link to the sauce recipe we used.

And here is a closeup of our yummy spaghetti sauce.

We blanched and halved the rest of our tomatoes, packed them in jars and canned them. Here is a closeup of our delectable stewed tomatoes.

There are many great FREE resources on canning fruits and vegetables. I like to use these booklets.

If you’d like to try canning (be prepared; it is long, hot work), you can download the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s guide to home canning here.

By the way, you can make those cute, fabric jar covers by taking any scrap fabric you have lying around the house and trimming it into squares (or circles) using pinking shears. For wide-mouth jars, you’ll need at least 7-inch squares (or circles) of fabric. For small-mouth jars, you’ll need at least 6-inch squares (or circles).

There is no doubt. Canning food is tedious work. But I also think it is so neat because it brings families together, it connects us to our past (i.e. it gives us a “taste” of what life used to be like for women before we could just buy stuff off the supermarket shelf), and it gives us the satisfaction of providing delicious, healthy, preservative-free food for our families.

Proverbs 31:10-31

10 [b]A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Do you enjoy preserving your own food? Do you have any tricks or tips to share with those of us who are new to canning?

This post is featured at Home Stories A to Z Tutorials and Tips.




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