End of August and first of September can mean that you have more garden tomatoes offered to you than you can safely eat... or it could mean that you don't have enough to have an all-out canning session. May I recommend "freezer canning" for both? Follow these easy steps
1. Select ripe red tomatoes that have no bad spots. (My mother doesn't waste a thing. But she learned from her mother that you don't use tomatoes with bad spots for canning.) Rinse off to remove any dirt. Remove stems.
2. Fill a big pot with rapidly boiling water. Submerge your tomatoes into the boiling water and remove with a slotted spoon when the skins begin to pop or loosen. (It usually takes about 30 seconds.)
3. Then plunge the tomatoes into an ice water bath (which will stop the cooking and make the skins even looser.)
4. Remove the skins from the tomatoes. Use a paring knife for any tough spots and to remove the core. Compost the skins.
5. Tomatoes can be frozen whole, or in halves or quarters. Place the tomatoes in good quality freezer bags. Squeeze the air out and zip close. Lay the bags of tomatoes flat on your freezer shelves. They will keep for up to a year. Add to your favorite recipes through the long, cold winter.
I have a personal goal to never again buy a "styrofoam tomato" from the supermarket and thus support an industry that has ruined one of our most glorious fruits. (Can you tell that I have been reading "TomatoLand: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed our Most Alluring Fruit" " by Barry Estabrook?)
Anyway, eat all the fresh tomatoes you can, while you still can - and can or freeze as many as possible for winter.