I will remember that smell of the canning until the day I die – it has been instilled in my mind. We boiled and peeled and canned tomatoes with fresh basil. I remember going to my cousin’s farm in Frankfort and he would give us small salt shakers to take in the fields to eat those beautiful ruby-red tomatoes warmed by the sun and freshly picked. I bet I ate a half-bushel by myself. Then he would make a campfire for us kids and roast fresh corn. – Mario
The way we bottled the sauce and kept it sealed was as follows:
The jars and covers (and/or lids) need to be sterilized before filling by boiling for about 15 minutes.
Fill the jars and VERY LOOSELY place the cover on and place in a water bath.
The best water bath is to fill a pan with water and place a cloth towel in the water on the bottom of the pan. This will prevent the jars from cracking by “bouncing” as the water boils.
Place the filled bottles in the water and put on the heat to boil. I would suggest boiling about 15 – 20 minutes. The inside sauce has to reach a high enough temperature to kill any bacteria. After boiling, remove the jars and tighten the caps securely. As we learned in science, the heat expands and the cold shrinks, so as the bottles cool, the vacuum seal is created. After tightening the caps/covers, my parents used to turn them upside down in a bushel lined with dry cloth towels until they cool down. By turning them upside down,
it prevents air (with bacteria) from getting in the bottle while it cools and creates the seal.
IMPORTANT: MAKE SURE THE COVERS/LIDS ARE VERY LOOSE WHEN YOU BOIL.
“PS: We used to “can” over 200+ bushels a year so I know how to peel, can and seal the sauce.” – Mario