It's finally tomato time around here! I planted 38 tomato plants this year and I am so excited to start making stuff with them. Last night was my first official harvest and I weighed 17 pounds on the scale. Not to shabby for the first picking.
More than half of my plants are Roma-style tomatoes and the others are a combination of Celebrity and Better Boys. Since it was hot and I was tired I decided that I would make simple crushed tomatoes and can them. Now that I am set up again, the next batch will be salsa or juice or sauce or something interesting. But for this one time it was easy.
I did not season the crushed tomatoes nor did I salt them. I am sharing my harvests with my mom and they don't like salt. I tend to add it to most things I cook in the form of spices anyway so I left it out. The recipe called it optional and I took them seriously. I canned pints using the boil bath method and added 1 TBSP of lemon juice to each pint jar before I added the crushed tomatoes. This assures the proper acidity for this method of canning. Last year I used up all the jars I had canned and this year I ought to have tons of tomato products lining my shelves. And yes, I am still thinking hard about making my guest room into a pantry. No one uses it much anyhow. The guest can just sleep in an awesome pantry. That would be a novel story to tell all their friends when they leave my house.