I Actually Enjoyed This

As you may have remembered, I got crazy and purchased a basic water canning set with the intent to make some blackberry jam that did not need to be frozen. I was so worried when I ordered it that it would come too late and I’d be stuck with tons of blackberries on hand, or would just end up making freezer jam again (not the worst thing, but I wanted a product with a longer shelf-life). But the canner got here just in time; the blackberries, however, did not. And have not.

As summer has gone on and on, I have been continually perplexed as to why this time last year I had produced a good 16 half-pints of jam, while this year we’ve had yet to have enough berries ready at one time to make even a half-batch of jam (4 half-pints). We did a little research and found that even the U-Pick berry farms were having a rough year and didn’t have berries available this year; even the Farmer’s Market had very little berries to sell.

So I thought I’d try my hand at making homemade tomato sauce. I looked in my Ball Blue Book and they had a recipe for “Seasoned Tomato Sauce” and it required 45 lbs of tomatoes. WHAT? I bought 15 lbs and adjusted as needed. After cutting up about 11 or 12 lbs I realized I did not have enough space in my pots to accommodate the remaining 3-4 lbs of tomatoes, so I adjusted again. Good thing I like a lot of onion and garlic in my tomato sauce since those were already chopped and busy sauteeing. I think next time I will blanch and peel the tomatoes prior to cutting and cooking since peeling them via the food mill slowed things down quite a bit. But, after going through it all and waiting nearly 4-1/2 hours for it to cook down, it passed Justin’s taste-test, so I think it will be alright.

The canning itself wasn’t all that bad and I’m planning on using the rest of the tomatoes to make salsa. Hope I do it right since I don’t care for any of the recipes in the Ball Blue Book…just need to make sure it’s acidic enough so that I don’t make big botulism bombs.

all set up and ready to go

first batch of tomatoes cooking

second batch waiting

at this point my whole house smelled like bruschetta…yum!

peeling and pureeing via the foodmill

whoa…pot is FULL!

four and a half hours later, finally ready to can

beginner’s luck…I had exact amount needed for 6 pints

can anyone say “hard water”? (oh, and yes, my lids seemed to have sealed correctly)

About the Author


This is a blog where I will share my adventures and mundane tasks as a work-out-of-home-mom. I now have 2 kids and my wonderful husband, so the juggling has gotten a little bit more tricky (man-on-man defense). We also have 2 dogs and 3 cats (we used to have 4) so as you can imagine, our household is pretty busy. Since I never feel like I'm being listened to, I figured I'll just start talking at the general Internet community and see what happens.


Karen MEG

Wow, just wow… that’s a lotta tomatoes and a lotta work!!! Looks awesome!
Good for you…I’ve always wanted to make my own sauce, but have only done the very simple canned tomato/onion/butter version.

You’d have a great pasta party :)!!!!


Wow! I am so impressed! (Never mind that I’m easily impressed anyway.) I want to can something now! I have an abundance of…. poo? Oh well! šŸ˜‰


I am SO impressed! I so don’t have the patience to do this! I can almost taste how good it is!


I need a scratch and sniff on my screen!!!!
Now I want some spaghetti. Or as Bean calls it sketti.

Madame Queen

You are seriously hardcore. Wanna come over and help me deal with the hundreds of tomatoes I have at my house? Cause we just can’t eat them all.

And seriously? 45 POUNDS? Good lord.


That’s so cool. What is that last step? Are you boiling the bottles? I’ve never canned anything before, but it looks interesting enough to try.


Leave a Reply