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You can use this recipe to can any amount. I sometimes do only 1 quart (if that's all the ripe tomatoes I have on hand). I have been making this recipe for almost 40 years and my Mother and Grandmother did it the same way for many, many years, and my Mother-in-law has been doing it this way for almost 70 years. While some folks advocate adding acids, I don't do this. I never have and never will put lemon juice in my tomatoes. I put a teaspoon of canning salt in each quart PERIOD. I have yet to "lose" a jar of tomatoes and nobody has ever gotten sick or died from them either. You can be assured that this recipe is tested, tried and true. [Editor's Note: recipe was updated to use cold pack method 6/27/03]
- Dip tomatoes in boiling water for 30 seconds or so.
- Take out and immediately put into iced water.
- I fill one side of the sink with the ice water, use the other side to drain them.
- This helps to get the skins off.
- Remove core and skins and cut in half or if large tomato cut into quarters.
- pack them tightly into jars.
- Add one Teaspoon canning salt to each Quart.
- set in water bath and process for 30 minutes.
- let cool.
Under no circumstances would I eat tomatoes prepared this way. Doing so would risk a big case of food poisoning as the tomatoes have not been 'canned' at all. The U.S. Dept.of Agriculture recommends adding 2 tablespoons per qt. of tomatoes of bottled lemon juice or food-grade citric acid and canning tomatoes in a pressure canner or a boiling water bath which the posted recipe neglected to add. This is the only method which will kill bacteria which causes botulism.
Well.....I have to come to the defense of this recipe. I do my tomatoes almost the same way, except, I don't put in the canning salt and I definately do not use lemon juice or anything else for that matter. My sister, mother-in-law, her mother, and my grandmother has never used either of those things and our tomatoes are just fine. We do however, use a water bath for processing. Keep up the good cookin' Lali! :)