The other morning I woke up to find a 19 pound box of ripe tomatoes on the kitchen table. Fun brought home discards from work, so I picked them over setting aside a few of the better ones for sandwiches that day and prepared the rest for the freezer. I have found over the years that it is far easier all around to prepare fruits or vegetables for winter by doing small batches. As the produce ripens and becomes available - eat as much as you can fresh and then do up small batches of the extra so the work does not become overwhelming.
After stemming and washing the tomatoes, they were plunged into boiling water and removed only when each tomato's skin had split. Just as soon as the split line appears, the tomato can be removed from the hot water.
Place them into a colander set into a bowl to allow the tomatoes to drain and cool.
When the tomatoes were cool enough to handle, I then slipped the skin right off.
Using a small paring knife, gently cut around the core.
Once cut around, using your thumb, push the core downward. The core will pop through and out the opposite end of the tomato.
Once finished skinning and coring, decide how to bag up the tomatoes. I used to use washed milk bags that come in the 4 litre bags here in Canada. This year I decided to use sandwich size ziploc bags as they hold about half the amount the milk bags do.
I evenly filled up the bags topping off each with the juice collected in the bowl of cores and skins. About six tomatoes fit into each bag. The bags seemed to be about the same size as a large tin of store tomatoes. Each bag will be just the right size for adding to a winter soup or lasagna or chili or salsa.
19 lbs. of tomatoes sounds like a lot, but it really isn't. Less the tomatoes for BLTs, I was able to freeze nine little bags of tomatoes. Canning would likely make more sense, space wise, but I've found freezing to be easier. However one chooses to do this, if done in little batches you will soon have lots of tomatoes tucked away for winter with not much effort.
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