Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Canning Tomatoes with Grandma!

We arrived in NY on Wednesday afternoon and didn't waste any time getting started. The beginning of the trip we had planned to learn how to can tomatoes and make Grandma's sauce. Growing up we would go over most every Sunday for dinner. I was interested to know how to do it all so Grandma was eager to show.
We started out with A LOT of tomatoes. 4 big boxes full. My grandma had started by slicing them in half so we could squeeze some of the seeds out.
Here is my mom going through them. Some of them started to get rotten so she was sorting.
Here is all the empty jars we were going to be using. You use the regular quart size jars that you can get at any store. My grandma saves everything and when I say she has a lot of these jars, that's an understatement.
Here is the big grinding machine that they used to grind the tomatoes into juice. The table is homemade that everything is mounted to and a family member built a bunch of these for them a long time ago. A few of these grinders remain in the family and my grandma is going to try to get one for me from one of our relatives that won't be using it anymore. She told us stories of all of them getting together and canning tomatoes all day and night. She said they would do around 140 jars!
Here is what the jars look like after the whole process. These are what she had left in her basement cellar from previous years canning.
Here is me and my grandma about to start. She let me wear an apron that her grandmother had made. Aren't we cute, I love this photo. We are in the basement kitchen downstairs. She has another full kitchen upstairs too.
Here is the grinder in action. It sure does make a big mess. Davids job was to run it and he really enjoyed getting covered in red (seriously).
My grandma finally let me help her cut the tomatoes. She looks surprised in this photo because David was trying to get her to look up and she was trying to locate the camera.
Here is David and my mom in action. Do you like their aprons? Davids was a towel and moms was a paper towel. I had the least dirty job and the most covered apron, but I did look pretty. My mom was such a trooper. She hadn't planned to help us with this process, but grandma wanted to start a day early and mom wasn't working, so here she is. My mom also HATES tomatoes, ketchup, salsa, etc.. so she gets an A++++ for effort.
The seeds and leftover parts of the tomatoes were stored in buckets. I asked what we did with them and she said go to the backyard and make a hole and bury them. I thought it was some superstition, but she doesn't have a garbage disposal so I guess that's what shes always done. So here is David on his way out there. He did this 2 times. Isn't he the best? I was probably laughing trying to take this photo so sorry it's blurry.
Here are all the jars that we canned, 42 to be exact. The part that takes the longest is boiling the jars in the water to seal up the tops. All in all we did these in a about 5 hours including the water boiling part.
We had a lot of fun and we also have video taped this so we won't forget. We are looking forward to having canning parties and I hope to have my sister help and keep the family tradition! 
The next day we came back to learn how to go from canned tomatoes to actual sauce. It takes a lot of time and that's the key. We made 8 of her jars that were in her cellar for dinner with the family. I'm sworn to secrecy for the actual recipe so you'll have to come to dinner to taste it (once I get my jars down here or can next year).
My grandma made 3.5 pounds of pasta! We knew she was over doing it for 9 people, but grandma knows best. 
Here is the final product! Delicious! Hope you enjoyed our canning extravaganza.
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leah said...

HOW COOL!! Love the shots of you and your Grandma with your aprons on, what a fun memory to have!

Lacey said...

Wow that's awesome!! How cool!!! It looks delicious!

Jen S said...

Your grandma is so cute! What a nice post :)

DudeMan135 said...

Yummo! Gonna make some mini-penne pasta right now! :o)

Mock family said...

WHAT A GREAT POST, cute pic of you two in your aprons, super impose me in there! sauce parties starting NEXT YEAR woohoo!!

Ginny said...

Jen you even made it look like I was having a fun time - and I have to admit it,it was fun - well maybe not the smell of tomato that remained on me for days. It was a wonderful experience and I'm glad you came home to learn and carry on the tradition. And David is the Best, after you!

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