Sue was curious as to what I was going to do with the basketful of green tomatoes I picked after our killing frost. Some we'll let ripen on the kitchen window sill, and some I'll chop up to add to things like scrambled eggs. The rest I wanted to preserve, I just didn't know how. A common solution would be green tomato pickles or relish. Well, I still have plenty of pint jars of the green tomato salsa I made last year. Pickles we only need so much of and I have plenty of those too.
Several recipes on the internet interested me, one for green tomato jam, another for canned green tomatoes for frying, over at cooks.com. I found a recipe for green tomato mincemeat too, in Putting Foods By, but I didn't have all the ingredients for that. We have plenty of jam, but I thought fried green tomatoes would be a tasty, special occasion winter treat.
The recipe didn't have many details, but this is where experience is probably supposed to step in. Following the simple directions, I first sliced....
... but wasn't entirely sure about "fairly thick." I usually slice them about 1/4 inch for frying fresh, so I went a little thicker than that, about 1/2 inch.
The slices were packed in wide mouth quart jars with 1 teaspoon canning salt. Since I was uncertain of the acid content of the tomatoes, I added 1/2 teaspoon of citric acid to each quart to be on the safe side. (You could also use 1 tablespoon lemon juice) I filled with boiling water, leaving about a 1/2 inch headspace.
Seven quarts were processed in a boiling water bath for 40 minutes.
No floating, no loss of liquid; I was pleased. I also read somewhere that green tomato slices can be frozen for frying as well. I don't have much room in my freezer, so someone else will have to test that one out.
How they'll fry up remains to be seen [UPDATE 1/25/2012 - they were delicious! See my related post below]. We can eat tons of fried green tomatoes, so a quart will amount to a just tasty bite of a side dish. Still, it will be a treat. At least it used up my largest green tomatoes, so now all I have to do is decide what to do with all the smaller ones.
Test Frying Those Canned Green Tomatoes