Sunday, September 25, 2011
Tomatoes are one of the easiest vegetables to can. They can simply be washed, sliced in half, put into jars, and sealed. They only need a water bath. Once cooled, cleaned and labeled they are ready for the shelf. These jars are nearly ready for the water bath. Part of them already have the lids and rings on them. The rest have been slightly salted and the rims wiped clean.
Well, this is what happened to some of the jars. I have to admit, I overstuffed the first round of hot water bath. I put 8 jars into the bath, not remembering it only fit 7. So when I saw the lids had puckered up, I thought I must have overcrowded the bath. I read online that the puckering can be due to overstuffing the jars, which I never do, and didn't think I had done. Anyhow, on to subsequent water baths of tomatoes...It happened again to two of the lids. I resealed the first batch of bad seals with new lids. The second and third batch, were also resealed. In the end, the fourth batch of 2 puckered jars went into the fridge for more immediate use. I think it may have just been a bad batch of lids...?
Finally, part of the tomato canning success is on the shelves for winter storage. There are more jars on the counter waiting to cool and be rinsed and labeled for the shelf, and a few other jars in the fridge. The tomatoes are so wonderful to add to soup, stew, casserole, or even left overs. If the skins on tomatoes bother you, as soon as they are warmed up in a soup or stew, simply lift the curled skin out of the pot. As soon as the jars are open in the middle of winter, summertime smells return! After 100's of jars of canning tomatoes, this is the year I learned of the pucker lid. Anybody else experience this?