I am a genius! I have just discovered the BEST way to preserve my extra tomatoes: canning Bloody Mary mix!
Well, I discovered it in the same way Columbus discovered America, which is to say it's a pretty sure bet someone else has been down this road before. But, hey - we got a day off of work last week to celebrate what Columbus did. I am just offering up a way to help the celebration along.
This recipe makes ONE quart jar. You will want to multiply based on the volume of tomatoes you have - and your future needs for instant Bloody Marys.
Bloody Mary mix
3 pounds tomatoes
1/2 c grated horseradish (storebought is fine)
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp coarse ground pepper
2 tb lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1. Quarter tomatoes and put through a food mill. (I use the attachment for my stand mixer.) Processing the tomatoes without heat works for this recipe because it will cause the result to be watery rather than thick like tomato sauce.
2. In a large saucepan, stir in the horseradish, mustard and pepper, and bring the puree to a low boil.
3. Meanwhile, canner, jars and lids should be sterilized. The canning water should be boiling, with the jars inside.
4. Remove jars from boiling water. Add lemon juice and salt to each jar, then fill with Bloody Mary mix leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe rim and top with lid. Turn rings to fingertip tight.
5. Place jars in canner and process at a full boil for 40 minutes, then remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes and remove jars. Enjoy listening to the thwonk sound each lid makes as it seals, letting you know that you did it correctly. Let jars cool for 24 hours before moving.
6. Before getting ready to use, you will notice the water rose to the top and the heavy stuff sunk to the bottom. Its ok to have even up to an inch of tomato water at the top of the jar. Shake before opening, pour into a pitcher, add an equal amount of vodka and mix well. (This makes a fairly strong Bloody Mary, half the amount of vodka makes a very weak one. You might want to be somewhere in between.)
7. This is the best part...pour into glasses filled with ice, garnish with a lime wedge (or celery stalk) and ENJOY!