This is where you’ll find me right now, in the kitchen canning garden fresh tomatoes. I haven’t canned for quite a few years but my DIL wanted to learn how so we’re back at it. Wouldn’t you know I gave all my jars away and the pressure cooker but I did keep my hot water bath canner. I’m not sure why, but now I’m glad I did.
My BFF gifted us two bushel of tomatoes that she didn’t have time to can. I didn’t want any of them to go to waste so I quartered them, dropped them into 2 gallon bags, and popped them in the freezer until I had enough to make it worth my while to process.
For the first batch I’m making crushed tomatoes, then I’ll make spaghetti sauce, and pizza sauce but first I’m getting the crushed out of the way. Little did I know there seems to be a canning jar and lid shortage. I’m not sure if it’s just in my neck of the woods or every where right now?? Apparently with all that’s going on in the world people are stocking up on food.
I scrounged through my cupboard and found 2 boxes of small mouth lids and one box of large mouth that I’ve had for several years. At least that was a start. It was quite the community project this year. I borrowed jars back front he person I’d given them too several years ago, my bestie and brother had leftover lids so between begging, borrowing, and scrounging I will make do with what I have. Anything that I don’t have jars for will be froze. I know freezing isn’t quite as convenient but a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do.
I set up the juicer and ran the first bushel through then added the juice to gallon size mason jars and into the fridge they went overnight. The next morning I got up and with a turkey baster I sucked all the water off the tomatoes. I added what I had left to a stock pot and started heating up the crushed tomatoes. While that was going I had hubby add water to the water bath canner and set that on the stove to heat up.
All of a sudden I noticed the top of the stove had water standing on it. Hubby lifted the canner off the burner and wouldn’t you know it, there was a tiny pin hole that had rusted through and water was leaking out. Now what was I going to to? Not only are jars and lids no where to be found also hot water baths are scarce. I did do a search and found the rusted spot can be fixed with JB Weld so I will give that a try but in the mean time I had tomatoes that needed to be processed; I didn’t have time to mess around with fixing the pot.
So plan “B” was used. I have a smaller stock pot that I could use as a canner it would take more time to process doing smaller batches but I had no other choice. It worked and everything turned out perfect. I ended up with 17 jars from the first bushel and all lids sealed. So now I’m no the lookout for a new hot water bath as a backup, but I’m assuming I’ll have to find one once canning season is over and people are no longer in need of one.
If the JB Weld doesn’t work on my existing one it will be turned into a planter like many others I have. The funny thing is I made elderberry syrup in my instant pot the week before and did a double batch and canned the extra. My pot wasn’t leaking then! Apparently once they get a rust spot and hole is sure to follow. Are you canning this year and if so are you having trouble finding supplies? First toilet paper now canning jars.