Friday, September 25, 2015


Every year for many years I use Anne Willan's easy French recipe for canning tomatoes. I did my last batch yesterday. If you are new to the home canning world this is the perfect recipe to start with because it is SO easy with a great result.
I have mentioned before that I think any cookbook is worth the price if you find one or two items that become part of your cooking routine - there are many recipes in this book I know I will never try but the French canned tomato recipe and the most delicious and decadent recipe for potatoes have both become part of my cooking repertoire. The potatoes are so rich (and I suppose, therefore considered un-healthy), that I only fix them for special occasions like Thanksgiving but they are oh, so good.
Only four ingredients: Tomatoes, sliced sweet onion, fresh thyme and bay leaves. Use any onion you like but I like to use one of the sweet onions and this year I added some fresh basil from the herb garden - thought I would give that a try this year. A little Italian in my French tomatoes.


Fresh whole tomatoes
Thyme sprigs
Bay leaves
Onion slices


1. Pack whole tomatoes into quart jars with a few thyme sprigs, a couple of bay leaves, and an onion slice or two. Close the lids and set the jars on a rack in a deep pan. 

2. Add enough water to cover generously. Weight the jars down with a brick (or a heavy pot lid) so they don't float. 

3. Simmer for an hour and a half until the tomatoes lose their shape and collapse. 

4. Let the jars cool in the water so that they form a tight seal. 

5. When done, each jar will look only half full of tomatoes, depending on how many tomatoes you are able to pack into the jars, mine usually are more like 3/4 full.

6. Carefully remove the jars with some canning tongs and set on a cloth to cool and wait for the "tink" that you will hear as the jars seal.  If you have a jar or jars that do not seal, put in the fridge and use right away.

 Oh so easy, done for the year with my tomato canning.


I created these labels in Corel Draw - feel use to copy and paste for your use.
I had some tomatoes left over and decided to make a meatless sauce for the freezer.  Easy enough to add ground beef, chicken, bison and peppers or with peppers and sausages. Will be great for pasta or veggies, etc. I really do not have a recipe per se - I ground the tomatoes in a food processor and put into a big pot and added some tomato sauce, a little evoo, grated garlic, fresh parsley, bay leaves, basil and thyme and then quartered three of the onions (I removed the onions and the bay leaves before putting the sauce into jars) and tossed into the pot and let it simmer for over two hours, as it was reducing I added salt and pepper and some red pepper flakes, some Italian seasoning, and a little green Tabasco sauce - use any recipe for tomato sauce.  This will be great to pull from the freezer for a main dish or a side dish of veggies, etc.


From My Chateau Kitchen, Anne Willan: From My Chateau Kitchen
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Labels, Avery labels from Staples, by Martha Stewart

Thank you for stopping by.



  2. Wonderful to have on hand & so easy! Thank you so much for stopping by!