A week or so ago we canned spicy green beans so I thought it would be appropriate to make some tomato juice to go with it. We only grew a few tomato plants this year and I they did not produce enough to make juice out of them. I headed to the local scene to find some tomatoes. First I hit the Caswell Farmers Market and got 6 pounds there. This is a newly formed market, so there are not many vendors yet. I stopped by a local market garden that has a self-serve honor system. They had quite a few, so I got seven more pounds there. It’s always good to support local growers plus they use little to no herbicides. My neighbor gave me her not so great tomatoes from her garden. Which I love because they are all heirloom and deep in color. I almost had enough to make a decent batch but wanted to get just a few more from the grocery store. They had some really ripe Roma tomatoes, so I grab three more pounds.
Jason had started cutting up all the tomatoes and throwing them into the pot to cook down. He already had all the jars and lids in hot water before I even returned with the rest of the tomatoes. I helped smoosh them down while he continued to cut up the rest. After they cooked down, we strained them thru a food mill and got out as much liquid as possible. After the juice heated back up, I prepared the hot jars. We were using quart jars from Ball. Each jar needed two tablespoons of lemon juice and one tsp of canning salt. Canning salt is just salt the has a very fine texture. There were seven full quart jars, and they will need to be boiled for 40 minutes. The house is already starting to get warm from all the cooking. We decided to put them in our setup that is mainly used for Crawfish boils. It’s a 60-quart pot with a strainer that heats up on a propane burner. The strainer made it nice, since it lifts right out and we could carry them back into the house. As the jars started to cool you could hear all the lids starting to pop. The pop sounds means they have completely sealed. If any of them do not seal they need to go in the refrigerate to be consumed first.