Sunday, September 18, 2016


I remember going on short trips with my Dad.  He liked to take shortcuts.  He usually got lost.

Same thing sort of applies to canning tomato juice.

The method I have used in the past is to dunk the tomatoes in boiling water until the skins crack.  Then transfer them to a sink full of cold water to cool them down.  Next I would peel, core and run them through a food mill to get rid of the seeds.  What was left was thick tomato juice that I would simmer for 15 minutes, ladle into jars and water bath can for 35 - 40 minutes.

But today I decided to take a shortcut.  I cored the tomatoes, cut them into large chunks and ran them through my blender.  Now, it might have helped if I had the good sense to taste some of the resulting pureed tomatoes, but I didn't.  Not until I had blended the whole 50 lbs worth, minus those we ate.

Turns out it is not as bad as it sounds.  The result of my efforts was that I have 25 pints and 12 quarts of a cross between crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce.  I can use this in any number of recipes calling for tomatoes.  And if I am not fussy about having tiny lumps in my tomato juice, I can drink it as well.

But I should have remembered Dad and his shortcuts.  They rarely turn out as planned.


  1. Wouldn't mind that at all! Hubby likes OJ without pulp. For me, that's like drinking water. The more pulp, the better!

  2. Chickenmom...I don't think a few bits floating around in the juice will slow me down much, either. I'm just glad to have that much more tomato goodness on my shelves. :)

  3. Just call it "natural" tomato juice and everyone will think you did it on purpose!

  4. Could you make ketchup or a BBQ sauce,??

  5. There you go, Gorges...I can cover up a lot of mistakes by just calling it "natural." Or maybe "gourmet tomato juice." :)

  6. Rob...I have made both ketchup and BBQ sauce in the past when I had a garden and grew my own tomatoes. But when I have to buy them, it isn't cost effective. Ketchup and BBQ sauce have to be cooked down. I get more mileage out of the tomatoes when I can them as diced tomatoes or juice or tomato sauce. They just go farther that way.

  7. Shortcut or not - 50# of tomatoes processed is awesome.

    Your comment about your Dad getting lost brought back a favorite memory from my Mom. She was always taking a backroad to see where it went. Her favorite saying was that we weren't lost as long as there was gas in the tank. Ha! Thanks,hadn't thought of that in quite some time.
    Cheers, SJ in Vancouver BC

  8. Thanks, SJ...I love your Mom's attitude. There was a time when I would take the back roads just for the fun of it. I figured if I kept traveling in the general direction I wanted to go, eventually I would find where I wanted to be.

    I remember a trip I took as a kid with my parents to see my grandmother in St. Paul, MN. Dad took one of his famous shortcuts. When we passed the same grain elevators for the third time, Mother leaned over and sweetly asked Dad if he might consider checking the map. :)

    Seems like trips were a lot more fun back then.