Yep, we finally tried it this year. Wow!! Should have done it sooner. My only memories of canning tomatoes was with my grandmother when I was really young. I remember doing it in the hottest part of the summer (which I hate). There were big boiling pots of water making things more humid than it already was. I could never think of a reason to do this voluntarily. In years past, we've always frozen them. With two of us hunting deer this year, our freezer space is going to at a premium....so we finally broke down and decided to can the millions of tomatoes that are coming off of our 12 plants. Yes, TWELVE plants. We're crazy, I know!!!!
This morning, Tom and I went out and picked our first canning batch. We had bought a flat of pint jars at the grocery store last week, and thought we'd finally brave the canning process. I used a vegetable peeler to take the skin off of them....would TOTALLY recommend it. It's more time consuming than just canning them with the skins....but, Tom made a pasta dish. And using the tomatoes without pieces of skin in the sauce is AWESOME for this texture picky eater. :-)
After I peeled them (and inevitably squirting myself with tomato juice - with the skin off, those suckers pop like zits!!!!), Tom got as many seeds out as he could, quartered each tomato, and put them in the pot to cook. While they were cooking, we put the pint jars on cookie sheets in the oven at 350 degrees. When the tomatoes were done cooking, we pulled out the jars on cookie sheets from the oven, filled them with the boiling tomatoes and threw the lids and rings on the jars really quick. As the steam inside the jar cooled, you could hear the lids popping. How cool!!! No pots of boiling water. And only one broken jar - The spilled tomato juice the jar was sitting in cooled fairly quickly, and the cooler liquid broke the jar. Never a good thing. :-)
Here's a picture of our first official attempt (successful - yeah!!!) of canning tomatoes.