I had a new experience on Sunday. I was invited to can tomatoes. I LOVE tomatoes, so I was thrilled to be included. Although I've never been a part of the process, I was surprised to find that it was really fun and quite rewarding.
I won't get this perfect (so don't follow my recipe), but here is a sampling of the process:
Start with 4 cups of coffee.
Dress - in your worst clothes - they really don't need to be clean, but even so, you may want to smell nice so as not to offend your canning friends.
Buy - tomatoes and ingredients (or if you're lucky, your canning friends will do it).
Pour more coffee.
Separate - your lids from the jar, then sterilize all.
Chop veggies - a ton of them (we did peppers, onions, and garlic).
Boil - water in a large pot; douse tomatoes for 30 seconds, then, plop them into a sink of cold water (blanching).
Drink more coffee.
Peel - the tomato skins get soft, so it's easy to remove the skin after the blanching process.
Measure - important to have the correct amount of vegetables and tomatoes per batch - do this while chopping).
Canning - use a large mouth funnel.
Sample - very important to test your work, but make a bloody cesar. This will help so that you can finish 2.2 more bushels.
Seal - I'm still confused about this process - I was too busy with the ceasars.
Label the jars.
Sample more salsa.
Drink more vodka.
Wash more dishes.
Seal more jars.
Label more jars.
Drink one more bloody ceasar.
Revel in the fact that you canned 4.5 bushels of stewed tomatoes and salsa.
Go home, exhausted but quite full of tomatoes and vodka.
I still smell like garlic. Completely worth it.