Why? A Tomato Canning Revelation

Beefsteak Bifsteca Big Tomato Once upon a time there was a woman who always cut the ends
off the ham before she put it in the roasting pan. Her daughter, having learned
the recipe from her mother, cut the ends of the ham before putting it in the
roasting pan. When it was the grand daughter’s turn to make the ham, she asked,
“Why do we have to cut the ends off, Grandma?”  Grandma replied, “Because my roasting pan was too small.”


It’s good to remember to question, to not work from
rote.  Case in point:  I just figured out that I don’t have to
peel the tomatoes before I can them. I learned how to peel tomatoes (pour
boiling water over them and the skins will slip off) at my mother’s knee. I
remember the hours, the tub of hot water with tomatoes bobbing around, the
wrinkly fingers, the smell of a gazillion warm tomatoes as we put them up for
the winter.


I also remember a few Italian summers ago, having to deal
with a bumper crop of cherry tomatoes, and I peeled every last, stinkin’ one of
them.  It was a good day not to
come and talk to me in the kitchen. Food Mill Revelation


This year, I had the 
“Ah-Hah Moment God” come and bonk me on the head with my food mill. I
put the tomatoes in a pot of boiling water for about 5 minutes, ran them
through the food mill, all the tomato juice and pulp goes into the pot and you
are left with nothing but seeds and skins in the mill. No peeling. No seeding.
The tomato juice and pulp went back on the stove until it thickened, then into
the sterilized jars.  Sooooo much
easier than peeling all those tomatoes!! No wonder those clever Italians call
it passato.


So the moral of the story is: just because you’ve always
done it one way, doesn’t mean it’s the only way. And that’s not just in the


P.S. I needed to show off our gorgeous beefsteak tomatoes. Stunning
to look and just as stunning in your mouth.

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