Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Canning tomatoes

Is it strange that I am looking forward to canning this year? Last year I was able to buy 100lbs of tomatoes for pretty cheap...and I actually got closer to 130lbs. I made quite a bit of salsa and canned the rest as crushed tomatoes. I didn't have nearly enough. If anything, I hoarded the stuff that I canned, and instead bought replacement salsa and did without canned tomatoes.

A couple years ago I became aware of the dangers of BPA. I'm assuming that it was right around the time that everyone became aware of the problems with BPA in canned goods. I vowed to not buy canned tomatoes anymore. That was a definite challenge. We go through a lot of tomato products in a year. In the winter I can easily use two quarts of salsa a week. And crushed tomatoes? Well I seem to go through a lot of those as well...soups and chili...those are my winter staples.

This year I had planned to grow as many tomatoes as possible so that I could produce all of our canned tomato needs this year. I was also planning on trying my hand at ketchup and BBQ sauce, two things I don't use a lot of, but both are hard to find without the dreaded high fructose corn syrup. Unfortunately, I don't know if I will ever produce enough tomatoes to satisfy my desire for tomato products. So I am hoping that my local farmers' market, and also the local fish monger (who sells a large amount of produce his father farms), will be able to supply me.

Am I alone in my desire for copious amounts of tomato products? It seems like I have a need for them above most others. I have a very good friend who doesn't like tomato products outside of ketchup. Maybe it is my need for spice. Perhaps instead of tomatoes, I should really be concentrating on hot peppers, and then pickling them for winter use...that's a thought.

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