Category Archives: Canning and Preserving

Canning Stewed Tomatoes

Remember how we went to the Farmer’s Market in Asheville last Sunday and purchased 11 bushels of tomatoes? This year I decided to use part of the tomatoes to make Stewed Tomatoes which I love to eat with okra and cornbread. Yum!

Melissa’s Stewed Tomatoes for Canning

2 quarts coarsely chopped tomatoes

1/4 cup chopped green bell peppers

1/4 cup chopped onion

2 tsp. celery salt

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 cup sugar

Combine all the ingredients in a large pot. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour hot tomatoes into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Remove air bubbles.

Process in a pressure canner – Pints 15 minutes, Quarts 20 minutes at 10 lbs. of pressure. Elevations 1000 feet or above at 15 lbs. of pressure.

Here is the step by step:

Remove the skins. I like to make a little X on the bottom of each tomato with a knife and then I drop them, about four at a time into a pot of boiling water for 30 – 60 seconds.

As soon as you remove the tomatoes from the pot of boiling water, you want to drop them into a bowl of ice water to cool and stop the cooking process.

The skins will become loose and should easily slip off.


After you peel and core the tomatoes, you want to roughly chop them and put into a measuring cup. For this recipe, you’ll want 4 quarts (16 cups) of chopped tomatoes.

Add the tomatoes, chopped peppers and onions, and the remaining ingredients to the pot.

Bring the tomato mixture to a boil and reduce the heat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Ladle the hot mixture into hot, sterilized jars. Wipe off rims, screw lids on finger tip tight, and place into pressure canner.

Process pints for 15 minutes, quarts for 20 minutes at 10 lbs. pressure or 15 lbs. of pressure if you live at an elevation of 1000 feet or more. Be sure to consult the manual that came with your pressure canner if you have not used one before.

After the pressure has dropped, allow jars to cool and seal.

This recipe makes about 2 quarts of stewed tomatoes. I like to double to recipe for each batch.

If you notice that the tomatoes separate from the liquid after they have cooled, don’t worry. That’s normal! Enjoy!

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The Farmer’s Market in Asheville, NC

Friday evening we had a shocking event with one of our horses. Mr. Cooper (who owns the land where we keep our horses) called and said that he was peeing blood. So we rushed over to check on him. There was a lot of blood. A scary amount of blood. In more than one place.

Knowing that blood in the urine could mean a number of things including bladder or kidney infection, I brought along my bottle of Colloidal Silver and we gave him 2 tablespoons twice a day for the last few days. The bleeding stopped by the next day and he has been improving, eating well, and acting his normal self. Bandit is about 25 years old.

Colloidal Silver kills infection – it is anti-bacterial and anti-viral. It is amazing stuff!

I wanted to be sure we cleaned out his kidney’s and bladder, too. So, Sunday morning we woke up at 4:30 am and drove 3 hours to Asheville, NC because I wanted to buy bulk herbs to make a tincture with for Bandit. I’ll write more about that later.

Anyway, we decided to go to the Farmer’s Market and purchase food for putting by.

  • 11 bushel tomatoes
  • 1 bushel grape tomatoes
  • 1 peck eggplant
  • 1 peck yellow squash
  • 1 peck zucchini
  • 1 bushel green bell peppers
  • 1 peck assorted mild and spicy peppers
  • 2 bushels sweet potatoes
  • 1 ginormous watermelon
  • 4 bushels of apples
  • 25 pound bag of beets

I’m planning to make Enchilada Sauce and Salsa with the Tomatoes. I’ve already been making Tomato, Black Bean, and Corn Salads with the grape tomatoes – delicious! We’ve had baked sweet potatoes and Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas. I also made Watermelon, Olive, and Onion Salad with part of that ginormous watermelon!

There was so much to see. Everything looked amazing. I wish I could have bought cabbages and pumpkins and potatoes and butternut squash. Maybe if I get everything put up quickly we can go back.

I would love to have one of these bittersweet wreaths!

Oh, and the apples – gorgeous! In November of last year I put up 14 bushels of apples. We have enough apple preserves to last until the Lord comes back! Needless to say, we didn’t buy that many this time. We bought 4 bushels of apples to use up fresh.

Have you ever had a Honey Crisp Apple? We bought only one bushel this year. They are delicious. Apparently the entire NC crop of Honey Crisp apples was lost this year. The price shot up on this variety!

After we loaded my new pick-up truck to the max, we went inside the indoor farmer’s market for a look-see.

I collect vintage looking tins. I hang them in my family room. They work well with the country decor. Anyway, we saw this one and although this isn’t the best photo, we decided my daughter Hannah looks an awful lot like Judy Garland! Yes, we brought it home.

And finally, while we were walking through the indoor farmer’s market, we tasted a sample of Amish Peanut Butter. After reading the label on the $10.00 pint jar, I decided I could probably make it at home for a lot cheaper.

I did just that.

Melissa’s Amish Peanut Butter

1 lb. peanut butter

1 lb. Marshmallow Fluff

2 cups honey

1/2 cup boiling water

Mix together with beaters until well combined. Serve with cracker, bread, pancakes, or as a dip for fruit. Yum!

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What to Do with Summer Squash #1

Summer Squash
Photo Credit: Florida Gardening

I love summer time. The bounty of fresh from the garden (or farmer’s market) produce is such a blessing!

Yellow squash and zucchini are usually found in abundance. Even if you don’t have a garden of your own, you probably have friends who do – and you will end up with some of their overflowing blessings!

I just recently put up six quart bags of squash into the freezer and I hope to be able to put up more before the summer is over. It’s easy!

How to Freeze Summer Squash

  1. Wash your squash and cut it into 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch slices.
  2. Blanch sliced squash by dropping small batches into boiling water for 3 minutes.
  3. Cool squash by placing into icy water to stop the cooking process.
  4. Fill quart size freezer bags with the blanched squash.
  5. Be sure to label the bags with the contents and date!

I’ll be posting more ways to use up your summer squash as the week progresses!

You can find the rest of the posts in this series here.

I have shared this post with Homestead Revival’s Barn Hop. Be sure to stop by for a visit!

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