Thursday, September 27, 2012

Have a Fried Green Tomato in December!

Hello, Saxon here enjoying a cloudy day at the beginning of Fall in Rockcastle County.  

This morning I admired 6 jars of green tomatoes, sliced thick and water-bath canned with spring water, lemon juice, and salt, sitting on the counter in our kitchen here at ASPI.  These were made a few days ago after we cleared out some plants to make way for fall cabbages.

I really enjoy the occasional side of fried green tomatoes and with all the fruits and vegetables we've produced here this summer I've been trying my hand at canning for the first time in my life in order to keep the bounty from going to waste.  Now I've found a way to keep green tomatoes local and ready for frying year round!  This is all really thanks to one of are most active participants, Armilda Barnes, who cans anything and everything, down to corncob jelly.  She was already canning green tomatoes a month or so ago when we last went to see her, but I haven't had the chance to try it out myself until now, after cleaning out the garden plot some.  

To can:
  • I had about half a five-gallon bucket-full of green tomatoes and these fit into 6 quart jars. 
  • They recommend wide-mouth jars, but I already had small-mouth around, so I simply cut the tomatoes in half if they were too large, but most fit without problem.  Cut to desired thickness for frying.
  • Heat canner water and sterilize jars, lids and rings.
  • Heat clean water in a pot, enough to fill six quarts.  
  • Place green tomato slices in hot quart jar, fill with hot water, add a pinch of salt and a spoonful of lemon juice.  
  • Now here's where the recipe becomes at your own discretion.  When I looked online, most cold-pack methods recommended putting jars in the water bath for up to 45 minutes.  Hot-pack methods recommend as low as 5 minutes!  This seems like such a huge difference, I was a little nervous about the length of time.  Five minutes didn't seem long enough, but since I did do hot-pack I decided to go with a time of 15-20 minutes in the waterbath.  This seemed to work fine, though I've not yet gotten a chance to try the tomatoes, the lids sealed ok.  
Perhaps canning green tomatoes is not unfamiliar to some of you, but I hope that some will be excited by this idea, as I am.  Because if you've ever tried to freeze sliced green tomatoes and use them later for frying, you know what a let down these can be, if not a total mushy failure.  I look forward to trying the canned version out this weekend.  Happy canning!  

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