A documentation of my preservation and preparation of local foods as I work through the seasons. This will serve as a reference tool for me in the future and as a sharing guide for family and friends...and anyone else interested. Hopefully, I can offer some useful methods, tips and recipes to share with everyone--be they novice or pro--and encourage them to join me in the exciting world of preserving and cooking with local foods.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

"I'll take tomato juice, please"!

The title of this post is how my Grandma Springer advised me to respond if I was ever offered an alcoholic beverage.  I admit I haven't often followed her advice; but hubby and I both LOVE tomato juice.  It seems like no matter how much juice I can, or how much we count and covet jars of it, tomato juice is always the first thing we run out of during Winter months.
Given that I try to make lots of it, I've found what I think is the easiest method for extracting the juice from the tomatoes.  When I'm processing tomatoes for canning, I remove half or more of the resulting juice.  That's it!--no Foley mill or Saucemaster necessary.  There's always plenty of juice left to surround the tomato pieces in the jar.
To be a little more specific; after coring and peeling the tomatoes, I put them in a big pan and break them up into inch-size pieces with my hands. (Thin rubber gloves work well for this.)  I then strain out the juice, adding enough back into the tomatoes for canning them--usually 1/3 to 1/2 of the juice.  I heat the juice and pour it into quart jars; then add lemon juice and salt and process them in a boiling water for 15 minutes.  From a 30# box of tomatoes, I usually get at least 4 quarts of juice.
 "Make mine tomato juice, please" (wink)

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