I’ve just gotten back from my parents house in the suburbs. We’ll be canning 6 bushels of tomato sauce on Saturday (which is a relatively low year for us; the four of us generally can 8-10 bushels in a single day).
We’ve been canning this way for years and we’ve learn more every year. Over the last few years we’ve learned a simple tip: buy the tomatoes a few days before canning and spread them out on tarps.
When we picked up our tomatoes this morning they had arrived in the city 30 minutes earlier. My parents buy from an Italian Grocery store (Collangelo Brothers) as they have for many years. Tomatoes often sellout within hours of the arrival of the daily shipment.
Even though the tomatoes are from Ontario (they are not organic), they are shipped while still very firm. They are ripe – but they can ripen further over a few days. We spread them across the garage and wait for 2-4 days.
By the time we begin canning, the tomatoes will be in their absolute prime. They will be easier to juice and we believe the yield is 10-15% more than when we used to make sauce on the same day we purchased tomatoes.
If you’re looking for more tips and tricks on preserving tomatoes or want to find some more recipes, check out our tomato preserving archive; there’s a tonne of stuff there!