Today we are lucky enough to get an interview with Kamie, the founder and owner of the SPEAK FREELY FORUM on canning tomatoes. Kamie usually grows a hearty and tasty crop and spends plenty of harvesting time canning the wonderful tomatoes, so we'd thought we'd like to get a quick "how to" .

FV : I'll begin by asking how you know when to can them?

KAMIE : When I have enough ripe. LOL! Seriously, they are ripe enough when they a all red and soft to the touch.

FV : Can you can green tomatoes?

KAMIE: Yes you can, but I don't. I do have a recipe for green tomato pickles that my grandma used to make.

FV : Is there a certain variety of tomatoes that work best?

KAMIE : We grow celebrity because I like the taste for eating fresh. If I was solely canning and not eating them I'd use beef steaks because they are bigger and grow faster.

FV : Why do they call it canning if you use jars?

KAMIE : Because, that's what my grandma called it.

FV : How do you prepare the tomatoes?

KAMIE : I either just lightly flour and throw in the deep fryer with peanut oil, or fix them baked. If I'm doing baked, I place them on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with Italian dressing, fresh garlic, garlic salt, salt pepper and basil, then toss some Parmesan cheese on top, bake at 350 till golden brown. That is for making green tomatoes.

FV : Do they have to be stored in the freezer or frig?

KAMIE : Nope, after they are canned, they last for about 2 years in a cool dark place.

FV : Do they loose any quality of color, or taste?

KAMIE : Not really.

FV : What do you use canned tomatoes for?

KAMIE : Chili, stews, goulash, and cabbage rolls mainly.

FV : Thanks Kamie! One more question though, I don't get why they don't get bad or rotten? Is it some kind of air proof seal or something?

KAMIE : Yes, it's a seal. You can only use the lids once, but it has a rubber seal that you get hot and put it on the jar when the tomatoes are hot, then you will hear a pop when it's sealed. You can tell if the seal is broken if it has any give in it.

Well there you have it! It not only sounds easy to can your tomatoes, but delicious as well. Thank you Kamie for sharing your info and your time with us!