it's that time of the year where those with tomato plants find themselves overwhelmed with large quantities of the awesome fruit! i am envious of such people, as my yard is too shaded to foster growth of much other than weeds (and hence i bought tomatoes from the local farmer's market)! if you don't have the time to make sauce, salsa, or some other concoction, might i suggest something less time consuming? simply clean, cut, puree, and freeze them for future use.
1. if you're not a fan of the skins, then start by blanching the tomatoes and removing them:
-boil a pot of water
-place several tomatoes at a time in the boiling water for 10-30 seconds
-remove (w/ straining spoon) and immediately place in cool water
-easily remove and discard the peels!!
2. whether or not you keep the skins, the next step is to quarter them and cut away the cores. 3. prepare tomatoes to preferred consistency. depending on what you prefer to prepare at a later time, you may choose to fully puree the tomatoes (perhaps for a smooth marinara), or leave it chunky for salsa or textured sauces (or mix it up so that you have options)! a food processor is best for chopping it to a smooth liquid. or you can use a food processor on an intermittent setting to chop them slightly, or use a manual food chopper for the chunkiest cuts.
4. break out the quart-sized freezer bags, and label several of them (i use a description and the date).
5. find a container or bowl that will house the quart-sized bag, for support while filling. 6. i also recommend using a funnel - the one that i have for canning is perfect for filling the quart-sized bags! i always hold a corner of the bag to prevent it from collapsing during the fill, and then just ladle it in!
7. be sure to leave some head space - i typically fill the bag within a half inch from the bottom of the zip. 8. then zip up the bags, removing as much air as possible
9. place them flat in the freezer. (if you have a deep freezer, i find it easier first to freeze them on a flat shelf and then pile them up for longer storage subsequently). the next time you're ready to make a soup, salsa, or sauce, just throw the frozen pouches of your garden-fresh tomatoes into the fridge (or leave on a counter) the night before, and you'll be ready to go!!!