While the pipeliner was out pipelining this past Sunday, I worked on a batch of tomato juice with his chili in mind.
I washed off the all the tomatoes I had just gathered from the garden.
This variety of tomatoes are called Celebrity.
I have found my roaster is the best thing to mix and cook all of these veggies in.
When it is all simmered to a softened mixture it should look something like this: Lots of flavor filled juices filling the pan.
Now is a good time to fill your water-bath pot full of water, then get it on your stove. You want it to be at a full rolling boil by the time you get done pressing your mixture.
I use an old fashioned food press. This also a great tool for making applesauce! Put the press over a pot big enough to hold all of the extracted juices. With a large measuring cup just dump some of your veggie mix into the press and turn the crank.
While that is simmering away, you want to get your jars ready.
Make sure you wash them along with the lids and bands in a very hot soapy bath.
My mother in law taught me a little trick to keep the jars hot before filling them. Heat your oven to 350F. Line up your jars on a cookie sheet, then turn off the oven and pop the jars in to the preheated oven.
Your lids and bands should be in a separate pan of boiling water, waiting to be screwed on the jars.
Now comes the time to fill your jars.
Take the jars out of the oven a carefully ladle the hot juice into them. Make sure there is no foam around the edges of the filled jars. If there is use a spoon to remove it.
Wipe the rims of the jars with a hot,wet, clean cloth. Carefully put on a hot lid, then screw on the bands. You may have to go back and re tighten each band.
Now you are ready to add the jars to your boiling pot of water.
Most canners have a metal jar holder. This makes it easier to lower your jars into the boiling water and then remove them later.
The water should cover each jar by an inch or so. Put the lid back on the pot. Bring your water back to a full rolling boil.
Quart jars should process for 30 - 40 minutes. Pint jars 25-30 minutes.
Carefully remove the cooked juice from your pot.
(Hey, they look the same as they did before I put them in the water!)
In the next hour or so you should hear a popping noise from each lid. That means they have sealed. If the lid hasn't sealed within the next 6 hours that jar of juice needs to be refrigerated and used within the next week.
A properly sealed lid doesn't pop back up after you poke the middle of it with your finger.
Make sure you label your jars with its contents and date as soon as it cools
Most canned tomato juice is usually good for 9 -12 months
I am sure there will be more jars of tomato mixtures added to the pantry closet in the weeks to come. Fingers crossed I can get the most out of my tomatoes before the first big frost hits!