How To Can Tomatoes


I’m currently taking two University classes in the evening and working during the day so, needless to say, cooking, blogging, laundry, cleaning, shopping, or eating anything that doesn’t come from a Drive-Thru are not very high on my priority list at the moment.

And although I love to get fresh veggies from friends and family members, I just don’t have the time right now to do anything with them. However, a friend gave me a bunch of garden tomatoes the other day so I made a point of setting aside an hour to can them. It’s easy, fast, and then I can enjoy the sweet summery taste of fresh tomatoes all winter long while I’m cramming for exams.

Step 1
Wash any dirt off of the tomatoes and remove the stems.

How To Can Tomatoes / My Friend's Bakery

Step 2
Cut an X into the bottom of each tomato with a sharp knife. Bring a pot of water to a low boil over high heat.  Drop 3 or 4 tomatoes at a time into the boiling water and blanch them for 45 seconds to 1 minute.

How To Can Tomatoes / My Friend's Bakery

Step 3
Remove the tomatoes from the boiling water and immediately put them into an ice bath. The skins should begin to easily peel off.

How To Can Tomatoes / My Friend's Bakery

Step 4
Gently peel the skins off the tomatoes. Cut out the stem end and any bruised or damaged sections.  Cut the tomatoes into quarters if they are large.

How To Can Tomatoes / My Friend's Bakery

Step 5
Add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice to the bottom of clean, sterilized canning jars. Fill the jars with tomatoes and push down to fit to 1/2″ from the rim.  Don’t worry if the tomatoes get squished a bit. Run a knife around the sides of each jar, all the way to the bottom, to remove any air pockets.

How To Can Tomatoes / My Friend's Bakery

Step 6
Wipe the jar rims and add the lids. Process the jars in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes. Remove the jars and cool on wire racks. Use these tomatoes with pasta, in sauces, soups, or anytime you would normally use store-bought canned tomatoes.


 How To Can Tomatoes / My Friend's Bakery

Now that you’re a pro at canning, try these canning recipes!

Pickled Beets / My Friend's BakeryNectarine And Vanilla Bean Jam / My Friend's BakeryConcord Grape Jelly / My Friend's Bakery







New Babas And Borscht / Beet Soup


A friend of mine is expecting her first grandchild in the next week or so and she is super excited. Her baby is having a baby!

Kinda weird when you think about it. It’s hard enough imagining that your children are all grown up, never mind that they’re having sex to make babies. Probably just as hard as it is for your children to imagine that once upon a time you had sex to make babies too. Ewww!


It’s a strange and wonderful rite of passage for many women. Girl to woman, woman to mom, mom to grandma.  Youth to adulthood, adulthood to maturity.

You don’t feel any older.  A few wrinkles may wink back at you from the mirror in the morning, but in your heart and mind you’re still 25 so how on earth did you skip all those steps in between? It’s one of the great mysteries of the universe. After all, just yesterday you were young enough and brave enough to leave the house without underwear.


So, congratulations to you Lavina! As you cross over that line from mom to grandma, just remember that you are now at a stage where if you wanted to go out without any underwear, no one is going to say anything because you’re old and new babas can get away with anything.

Cheers to all the grandmas, babas, nanas, grannies, gagas, and meemaws. Past, present, and future.



Borscht / Beet Soup (*Vegetarian)

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Yield: 10 - 12 servings

This was my mom's recipe for borscht. Mom was a pro at making things that would usually be complicated and making them as simple as possible, which is why a lot of the flavor comes from the Mott's Clamato Juice instead of many separate ingredients and spices.
Traditionally, borscht is served at Christmas as one of the 12 meatless dishes on Ukrainian Christmas Eve.
If you use vegetable stock, this recipe can almost claim to be completely vegetarian, except for the small amount of dried clam broth (ingredient #10) found on the Mott's Clamato Juice ingredients list.


  • 3 - 4 medium-sized beets (including stems and leaves)
  • 1 large bottle (1.8 Liters or 7-1/2 cups) Mott's Clamato Juice - Extra Spicy or The Works
  • 1 Liter (4 cups) chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 head green cabbage, finely chopped or shredded
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 can tomato soup
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh or frozen dill (if using dried dill, use less)


Peel the beets and cut off the stems and leaves. Thoroughly wash the beet stems and leaves and chop them into 1" pieces. Add the stems and leaves to a large soup pot. Use a food processor or a cheese grater to grate the beets and add them to the soup pot.

Add all of the other ingredients and heat the soup on medium high heat until it boils. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the borscht for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Serve borscht with a dollop of sour cream or a swirl of whipping cream and a splash of vinegar.

To Freeze Borscht

Once cooled, pour the desired amount of borscht into freezer bags. Lay the freezer bags on their side and freeze the bags on a flat surface. Or freeze desired amounts in freezable, lidded containers. Thaw to room temperature before heating.

To Can Borscht

Ladle hot/warm borscht into sterilized canning jars, leaving 1/2″ headspace. Wipe jar rims and add lids. Process jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Remove the jars and cool on wire racks. If any of the jars do not "pop" to seal, then store those in the fridge and eat those first.


Original Recipe by My Friend's Bakery 2014

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