it's that time of year when the tomatoes kick into high gear. our own garden, plus our farm box, plus tomatoes from the gardens of people we know has left us with more than we can eat. in years past, i would simply eaten what we could, and let the rest go. this year i'm trying to be more proactive--after all, store-bought tomatoes in the middle of winter are pretty much not worth buying. i'm not a canner--and i don't happen to know any canners, either. but i do know that it's possible to freeze tomatoes, provided that you prepare them first. so that's what i set out to do. i started with a small batch of heirloom tomatoes from last week's farm box that didn't get eaten--after all, if i messed up royally, i didn't want a whole lot of tomatoes going down the drain.
a quick google search, and i was ready. this whole freezing tomatoes thing is a lot easier than i thought it would be. you simply boil water, add the tomatoes a few at a time, and wait for the skin to break (about a minute). then transfer them to an ice water bath, peel, core and de-seed. so simple--really, the whole process for my small batch of tomatoes only took about 10 minutes, start to finish. and i have 2 little jars of diced tomatoes now sitting happily in my freezer (i used old sauce jars to freeze them in).
i've often read that tomatoes are the # 1 canned item that you shouldn't buy if you are concerned about the BPA leaching into your food. tomatoes are very acidic, and speed the breakdown of the lining of metal cans. with a little more work on my part, i think it's hopeful that we can store enough tomatoes from this summer's bounty that we won't have to buy canned tomatoes over the winter. we'll see!