Some of us here in the Midwest have a common problem this time of year: We've got tomatoes coming out of our ears! It seems as though everyone with at least one square foot of open land or a flower pot on the back step has a tomato plant. Although this bounty is a good thing, it also creates a problem for some of us who are unskilled in the kitchen or who simply don't have the time to preserve our extra tomatoes through canning or freezing or whatever. And so, what can we do? Well, after making numerous salads, sandwiches, salsas, side dishes, and pasta sauces using fresh tomatoes, it seems that some of us are left with only one course of action: give the rest away (probably to people who already have a ton of fresh tomatoes from their own gardens). But for those of us who have the time, preserving our extra tomatoes for use during the long, cold winter is a rewarding and cost-effective task. Okay, so winter isn't long and cold everywhere, but it sure is here in RecipeTipsland. And who can blame us for our thriftiness, since tomatoes are so expensive in the supermarket during the winter. I mean, buying a pound of prime beef would often be cheaper than buying one lousy tomato in Minnesota in the middle of January when the cost of shipping it from Florida or Costa Rica or Timbuktu is added to the price.
So, here's what I think is the best answer: First, set aside some valuable time and check out RecipeTips.com for the most thorough and accurate information about tomatoes that you are likely to find anywhere (how's that for a bit of shameless promotion); and second, set aside another block of time to actually do the canning or freezing or drying. Believe me, it's time well spent, especially when you don't have to run to the supermarket and spend a fortune to buy tomatoes on a dark, frigid winter day. And if you eat lots of tomatoes and all kinds of good things containing tomatoes, think of all that money you'll be saving by using your own succulent home-grown tomatoes instead of those sickly store-bought ones.
So, what do you want?