Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Canned Tomato Fail

Argh! I get so frustrated when something doesn't work out. 

I've been getting tons of tomatoes off my plants. Yay! This is just two days worth:

Then, to prepare them for canning, I spend hours blanching and peeling them:

I've canned a thousand tomatoes without any problems. Today? I wasted 3 hours of peeling, coring, chopping, and boiling. And it wasn't just time that got wasted......I wasted 20 POUNDS of tomatoes!! I don't know what I did wrong, but ALL eight of my pint jars leaked when I took them out of the canner. And that means that ALL eight jars are not sealed properly and have to be tossed. What a waste!

See the red on the towel under the jars? That shouldn't be there. As soon as I pulled the jars out of the canner, they bubbled out through the seals. That means that there is food between the lid and the jar which can spoil and ruin the seal.

And not only that, the juice/water is on the bottom and all of the tomatoes floated to the top. Now they are not submerged under liquid like they are supposed to be.

What did I do wrong? Did I over or under tighten the lids? Did I boil them too short or too long? I'll never know. I thought I did everything the same as the last time (when all the jars sealed with no problems).

I'm glad that summer is coming to an end. I love the warm weather, but I'm ready for crisp fall air and sweaters. And most of all, I'm ready for NO MORE TOMATOES to can. I think I'm "canned out" for the year. I know I shouldn't focus on this one failure, but I hate wasting my time. Grrr!

It turns out I didn't have to waste my tomatoes. All of the jars sealed, though with tomato juice in between the lid and jar. So, as long as I used them quickly (before the juice in the seal broke down), I didn't have to toss the tomatoes. (I hate to waste food). I made salsa, tomato sauce, sweet and sour sauce, and fed tomato based meals to my family all week. I don't feel so bad about my Tomato Fail anymore. :-)

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