There is nothing better than spending a day together with friends…
Actually, spending the day together with friends canning cherry tomatoes, reminiscing about old times, chatting about how we each preserved foodstuff with our moms and arguing over whose method is better, is even more special!
A few weeks ago, my friend Joanna went to the market and picked up flats of luscious cherry tomatoes still on the vine from the farmers market. Our friend, Ema, who teaches lots of things – including preserving – at George Brown, came by to show us how she preserves her cherry tomatoes.
It was a great day as the three of us, along with our friend Tracy, “put up” jars and jars of these cute little bottles to use in the winter months. We were first intrigued when we went to Ema’s house to learn the art of fresh pasta and we saw these cute little jars on her shelf (I think, even if I hated tomatoes, I would have made these because they look spectacular on the shelf and they would be the cheapest form of art you could ever find!!)
See…aren’t they gorgeous!?!?!
The recipe for these beautiful jars is below but if you want more information on how to can these and other beautiful things, contact the people at George Brown College or send Ema a message through her IG account called Hot Pots and Chocolate! I call her the Italian knitting Goddess (on top of teaching, she is a knitting freak and her sass rivals that of Sophia Loren and Gina Lollobrigida combined!!)
You can make so much with these tomatoes…I added them to my taco board (see bottom of picture below):
You can also squish them straight from the jar on top of a homemade focaccia along with a good dose of olive oil, lots of oregano and a nice hearty sprinkle of sea salt and freshly ground pepper…bake until brown (I made it for my kids who ripped into the focaccia straight from the oven!)…
Then, the next day, I took the leftover focaccia and made pressed pannini triangles filled with friulano cheese, more chopped tomatoes, fresh spinach some pesto and a farm fried egg…soo good!!!
What are you gonna do with your tomatoes??
- 500ml water
- 1tsp salt
- 2 pints grape tomatoes, washed really well
- ½ tsp citric acid (1/4 tsp per jar)
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- Prepare the boiling water in a canner or a large stock pot.
- Wash jars and lids in hot soapy water and rinse.
- Sterilize jars in boiling water for 10 minutes.
- Wash lids and bands, set aside.
- In a saucepan bring the water to the boil, add the salt and stir to dissolve.
- Meanwhile, pierce the tomatoes in several spots with a needle or a skewer.
- Drain the sterilized jars.
- Arrange the tomatoes tightly in the jars, add ¼ tsp of citric acid and a sprig of thyme, cover with the salted boiling water.
- Remove air bubbles with a nonmetallic utensil and wipe the rims with a clean damp paper towel.
- Seal the jars: centre the hot lids on the clean rims and screw bands on until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight.
- Return the filled jars to the canner and ensure they are covered with at least 2.5 cm or 2 inches of water.
- Cover the canner, bring to a full boil and process the jars for 40 minutes from the boiling time.
- After processing, remove the lid from the canner, wait 5 minutes and lift the jars.
- Place them on a cooling rack or a flat surface lined with a towel.
- Cool undisturbed for 24 hours. Do not retighten the lids. Wait for them to pop.
- Check the jars seals. The lids should curve down. Remove the screw bands dry them and the jars as necessary. Set the screw bands aside for another use, or loosely reapply them on the jars.
- Label and store in a cool dark place, use within 1 year.
- (Ratio of water to salt 1L water: 2 tsp salt; the recipe can be multiplied)