Stewed tomatoes and bringing you up to speed.

I apologize for the lack of recent activity in the blog, but peak harvest season is in FULL SWING!  If you were to step inside my home you would be climbing over crates of freshly picked tomatoes, side-stepping gallon jars of fermenting pickles, and listening to the dehydrator and canner compete for your audio attention.

I had quite a few “filler food posts” lined up, but when my 16 month-old laptop bit the dust last month (and that is just the tip of the shit-storm), I lost over 1500 pictures!  Everything from December 2010 through mid July, gone.  Like unrecoverable gone.  Bummer, huh?  Oh well, that will teach me for: (1) not backing up my computer onto my external hard drive, and (2) not transferring my images onto said external hard drive.

Since I lost all my photos, I now have a large que of blog posts waiting for accompanying images.  Although I live in my kitchen during this time of the year, most of my activities revolve around preserving the harvest, so there is not much “real” cooking and recipe experimentation going on.  Most of my daily meals consist of snacking on raw produce and grilled veggie sandwiches, which I have already posted about.  I’m hoping to sneak in more food time, but with 60 lbs of tomatoes staring me down on a daily basis, it does not look too hopeful!

Because my tomatoes are in their “full throttle” production stage, I am constantly searching for new ways to put them up.  Don’t get me wrong, I like canned tomatoes, especially in soups and curry dishes, but I still have quite a bit left over from last year’s harvest.  While flipping through my ever-growing library of canning books, I found instructions for stewed tomatoes.  Seeing as how I grew celery this year, I knew I had to give this recipe a whirl!

Stewed Tomatoes – from the Ball Blue Book Guide to Home Canning, Freezing, and Dehydration

4 Qts chopped, peeled, cored tomatoes (24 large)

1 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup chopped green pepper (I used Purple Beauty, see note below)

1 Tbsp sugar

2 Tsp salt

Combine all ingredients in a large sauce pot.  Cover; cook 10 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking.  Ladle hot vegetables into hot jars, leaving 1-inch headspace.  Adjust two-piece lids.  Process pints 15 minutes, quarts  20 minutes, at 10 pounds pressure in a pressure canner.  Recipe yields 7 pints or 3 quarts.

I ended up with 5 pints of stewed tomatoes and 1 quart of tomato juice.  Instead of tossing the left over juice, I reserved it to use as cooking liquid for quinoa and rice.

**Never ever EVER change quantities of acid and non acid foods in canning recipes.  Varieties, however, are interchangeable.  If a recipe calls for 1 cup chopped green pepper, you can substitute 1/2 cup green and 1/2 cup jalapeno, etc.  This is ok because you are still meeting the required 1 cup amount.

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10 Comments

Filed under Pressure Canning, Vegan, Vegetarian

10 responses to “Stewed tomatoes and bringing you up to speed.

  1. i need to find a stewed tomato recipe that doesn’t call for celery. Let me now if you ever come across one!! i can’t stand celery. 🙂

    • You can omit the celery from the recipe without comprimising safety, you just can’t add to it. I have about 8 canning books currently checked out that I am slowly making my way though; I picked another 60 lbs of ‘maters last night, so I have tons of tomato recipe canning on the horizon! I’ll keep ya posted on what I come across!

  2. Yikes! Sorry to hear about all your photos. That happened to me many years back (before external hard drives were common). I’m planning on buying one soon because I’m getting really nervous about the amount of photos and music I have that isn’t backed up anywhere!

    • Thanks! I’m most annoyed about losing the Tif & RAW files; I have jpegs that can be pulled off the net, but it is not the same! I also lost all my garden photos, so come winter I can’t analyze plant growth and planting times for next year. 😦 Oh well. I’m going to start using an online back up for my files very soon. At work we use Carbonite, it is inexpensive ($50-ish a year) and reliable!

  3. I am so sorry about your photos! That is awful. These stewed tomatoes look great though!

  4. Grace

    Stewed tomatoes were the reason I took up canning in the first place. My mom refuses to put them up anymore, and I got tired of doing without them. Now I’m canning mad and I totally blame her! I like them better without the pepper. I think it has a fresher taste and smell. There is simply nothing easier or more wonderful than opening a jar of this in the dead of winter, heating it a bit, and pouring it over some hot pasta. Summer in a jar!

    • My mother doesn’t can much anymore, especially since I put up several hundred jars of food a year! I put up peaches for her as a holiday gift because it reminds her of summers spent on the farm. She always comments about cracking open a jar in the winter and being reminded of summer!

  5. I made a variant of this recipe, but now I’m questioning safety. I have no canning books, just the internet, and I stumbled into your blog hoping you might know the answer to my question.
    The approved recipe I used was from UGA.edu, and about half of these amounts:
    2 qt. chopped tomatoes
    1/4 c. onion
    1/4 c. green peppers
    2 t. celery salt
    2 t. sugar
    1/4 t. salt (same processing).

    I just wanted spicy stewed tomatoes, so I omitted the onion, sugar, and celery salt, and my recipe looked like this:
    2 qt. tomatoes
    1/4 c. jalapenos
    1 t. salt
    1 T. lime juice (for a bit of tang)
    but then I thought I should replace the celery salt with some flavor, and added 1/4 t. powdered garlic and 1 t. dried powdered onion.
    I think I should be safe because that still seems to be in safe proportional amounts, but do you see a reason it is unsafe? I made this tonight, not to late to freeze if I have to (but no room in the freezer so I hope not!)

    • Hi Ashley, thanks for reading my blog! It looks safe to me, but I am not a food scientist. My understanding is that dried spices are freebies in canning, so those will not affect your finished product. As long as you are not adding additional non-acidic foods you should be okay. Pepper varieties are interchangeable; however, the quantities are not. Since you did not add the onion, your ratio of acidic to non-acidic ingredients should still be fine. Whenever I change recipes I always double check with my local extension office, they’re the experts in food preservation safety!

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