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Food Preservation


Food Preservation

How-To's on putting food aside: canning, freezing, drying, much more...

Location: North Carolina
Members: 446
Latest Activity: Sep 17, 2019

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Comment Wall

Comment by Christene on September 9, 2011 at 8:28am



Dh found and article that said tomatoes that weren't heirloom didn't have enough acid for a hotwater bath.  I think they are referring to store Hot House tomatoes where I put up all my naturally sun ripened tomatoes but I thought I would check,

Comment by Janet Rybacki Buechler on September 9, 2011 at 9:00am
I think there are a lot of homegrown tomato plants out there that have been hybridized and may not have enough acid content.
Comment by Harriet Fasenfest on September 9, 2011 at 9:13am
As the doctrine goes. Put a tablespoon of lemon juice per pint of tomatoes and two tabl. per quart. That makes them "safe" for boiling water canning. It is not necessary for pressure canning. The doctrine suggest "real lemon" lemon juice as in the brand but I don't do that since I'm a conspiracy theorist and think they just got extension to use their brand name. I mean a lemon is a lemon and how much stinking acid do you have to put into a tomato? But follow your own heart and comfort on that front. As for why some tomatoes are more acid then others, Janet and Lydia are on the right path. It is about hybridization and the variances of growing conditions across the country. Extension must set rules that are good for everyone. So lemon juice in canned tomatoes when using a boiling water canner is the rule.
Comment by Linda Ziedrich on September 12, 2011 at 12:40pm

I've been told that only a couple of tomato varieties have been identified as sometimes dangerously low in acid, but I don't know which varieties they are.

If your tomatoes seem bland but you'd rather not add lemon juice, I recommend either checking the pH (with a pH meter) or adding citric acid instead of lemon juice. The recommended amount of citric acid is 1/4 teaspoon per pint or 1/2 teaspoon per quart.

Comment by Linda Ziedrich on September 12, 2011 at 1:16pm

I've just found an abstract of what may be the single study on which the USDA has issued its recommendation to add acid to home-canned tomatoes. Here's the citation: I. D. Wolf et al., "The pH of 107 Varieties of Minnesota-Grown Tomatoes." Journal of Food Science v. 44, no. 4 (July 1979), pages 1,000-1010. The abstract says that only one variety, Ace, exceeded 4.6 pH when ripe, but that twelve other varieties exceeded 4.6 pH when overripe. The other varieties aren't listed in the abstract, but I found them in another online forum: Beefmaster Hybrid, Big Early Hybrid, Big Girl, Big Set, Burpee VF Hybrid, Cal Ace, Delicious, Fireball, Garden State, Royal Chico, and San Marzano.

I have never again planted San Marzano since I found mold growing inside what appeared from the outside to be perfect fruits. You can tell this tomato is low in acid because it tastes like cotton.

The most important lesson of the Minnesota study, I think, is that you shouldn't can overripe tomatoes. It's very hard, anyway, to draw a clear line between an overripe tomato and one that's starting to rot. Overripe tomatoes should go to the chickens, hogs, or compost heap, not into canning jars.

Comment by Reiny Rizzi on September 12, 2011 at 3:02pm
Does anyone have some sugestions how to preserve figs, besides cooking jam or mustard
Comment by Torry on September 12, 2011 at 4:22pm
Reiny you could try preserving them whole in a liquor solution, using a brandy, cognac, amaretto etc.  They can be canned or done up in a rumtopf.
Comment by Linda Ziedrich on September 12, 2011 at 4:44pm

Preserve figs in syrup, pickle them, or make them into paste. I make fig paste with ground almonds, lemon peel, cinnamon, and sometimes honey. It's the world's best energy bar!

Linda Ziedrich


Comment by Lynda Reynolds on September 12, 2011 at 4:56pm
I've been dehydrating figs all last week and again this week.  I figure I'll work with them later this Winter.  I still have several jars of fig jam from last year, so didn't want to bother with that.  But Linda's paste sounds great..I think I may give that a try later this week.
Comment by Reiny Rizzi on September 13, 2011 at 12:51pm
Thank you, ladies, for the ideas on what to do with figs.
I think I,ll begin tomorrow with dehydrating and making fig bars.It will be my first time doing energy bars.


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