So what does one do with an explosion of tomatoes lining the kitchen windowsill and stacked on countertops?
I have solved the overabundance problem by canning. Using a Presto Pressure Cooker and Canner (which incidentally has more than paid for itself), I regularly cut, mix, and can my fruit for use later on this winter.
Canning tomatoes is an extremely easy process, even without a pressure canner. Clean canning jars, lids, and seals are necessary. Pop them into the dishwasher prior to canning, and they will be sterilized and hot. The fruit has to be ripe, but not beyond. Add a little canning salt to your diced tomatoes. Unlike some recipes, I don't cook my tomatoes, nor do I peel them. Fill the jars to ½ inch of the rim, wipe clean for a good seal, and subject the jars to a bubbly bath of hot water. The canner makes it easy; as soon as optimum pressure is achieved, slow the heat to a simmer and time for twenty minutes before turning off. It takes a long time for the water to cool down and enough pressure to be released before you can open the canner. Sometimes it can be as long as overnight, which is why I can right after dinner. Once it’s safe to release the seal, take out the jars, wipe clean, label, and store in a dark cabinet until use.
Since I grow other vegetables, I often incorporate them with my tomatoes. If there are green peppers to spare, they’re included. I recently made a jumbo batch of salsa using jalapenos from my container garden, and onions and garlic from the yard, and canned that. I have oregano taking over one section which coincides with our heavy diet of pasta, so some of my tomatoes are flavored with oregano and fresh bay leaf, also from deck containers. We enjoy wintertime chili, so some of the jars hold just tomatoes and jalapenos. All jars get a heavy inclusion of chopped garlic.
I may be swimming up to my neck in tomatoes right now, but I’m not complaining.