What you'll Need:
4 quart-size canning jars with lids Large deep pot with lid Round wire rack that fits inside the pot or clean empty tuna cans (to keep the jars from direct heat) Jar lifter or tongs Rubber spatula Clean dish towels
Sterilize the jars. Wash the jars and lids in hot soapy water; rinse well. Place a wire rack or empty tuna cans in the pot to keep the jars from touching the bottom. Fill the pot halfway with water and bring to a simmer (do not boil). Submerge the jars in the water and let simmer until you're ready to fill. Sterilize the lids in a separate small pot of simmering water.
Make the brine. Combine the chiles, bay leaves, coriander and cumin seeds, cinnamon sticks, cloves, mace, peppercorns, garlic, vinegar, honey, salt and 1 cup water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil; cook for 3 minutes. Cool slightly. Remove the chiles and bay leaves with a slotted spoon
Pack the tomatoes. Slice the tomatoes into wedges using a sterilized knife and cutting board. Remove the jars and lids from the simmering water with a jar lifter or tongs; fill with the tomatoes and some chiles and bay leaves
Fill and close. Pour the warm pickling liquid over the tomatoes in each jar, stopping 1/2 inch from the top. Slide a clean rubber spatula around the inside of each jar to remove air bubbles. Wipe the rims with a clean towel, then position the sterilized lids on top. Screw the lids shut, being careful not to overtighten.
Boil the jars. Return the pot of water to a simmer; add the jars, making sure water covers them by a few inches. Cover and boil for 15 to 20 minutes. Turn off the heat, uncover and leave them in the water for 10 minutes
Remove and let cool. Transfer the jars to a kitchen towel. Let sit, undisturbed, for at least 12 hours. A vacuum seal will form as the jars cool
Label your pickles. Write the date on each jar and store for up to 1 year at room temperature; refrigerate after opening. The tomatoes will be at their prime about 3 months after canning.
Photograph by David A. Land
Properly handled sterilized equipment will keep canned foods in good condition for one year. Making sure hands, equipment and surfaces in your canning area are clean is the first step in canning. Tips: Jars should be made from glass and free of any chips or cracks. Preserving or canning jars are topped with glass, plastic or metal lids that have a rubberlike seal. Two-piece metal lids are most common. To prepare jars before filling: Wash jars with hot, soapy water, rinse them well and arrange them open-side up, without touching, on a tray. To sterilize jars, boil them in a large saucepan, covered with water, for 10 minutes. Jars have to be sterilized only if the food to be preserved will be processed for less than 10 minutes in a boiling-water bath or pressure canner. To sterilize jars, boil them in a large saucepan, covered with water, for 10 minutes. Follow manufacturer's instructions for cleaning and preparing lids and bands. Use tongs or jar lifters to remove hot sterilized jars from the boiling water. Be sure the tongs are sterilized too: Dip the tong ends in boiling water for a few minutes before using them. All items used in the process of making jams, jellies, preserves and pickles must be clean, including any towels and especially your hands. After the jars are prepared, you can preserve the food. It is important to follow any canning and processing instructions included in the recipe and refer to USDA guidelines about the sterilization of canned products. Find Information information on canning can be found at the National Center for Home Food Preservation website: http://nchfp.uga.edu/.