Our summers tend to end with a mad dash of canning and preserving food. It’s hard to beat having a pantry stocked with preserved summer produce and opening up a jar of homemade strawberry jam well after peak strawberry season has ended.
Tomatoes are one of those foods that people are often wary to can, but the method is pretty much the same as any other. The key is acidifying the tomatoes, which we did using bottled lemon juice. That’s really the only major difference. Though I’ve read a pressure canner is the better option for canning tomatoes, we didn’t have any problems using the water bath method.
This particular batch of tomatoes is Rotel-style. In case you have no idea what I’m talking about, Rotel tomatoes are diced tomatoes mixed with green chiles. Rotel was a staple in my house growing up and was usually eaten in the form of “queso” made with it and a block of Velveeta. My favorite was when it had ground sausage, too. That was my go-to party recipe in high school and college. These days, we use it in things like this southwest pasta or these chicken enchilada pinwheels. And with tomatoes this good, you can bet a version of that childhood dip I loved so much, sans Velveeta, is in the works.
If you’re new to canning, check out my post on the basics of water bath canning to get you acquainted with the process. I promise it’s not as intimidating as you might think!