Beautiful orange and red bulbs on shriveled brown naked stalks. That is essentially the state of my tomato beds. And the state of my living room is something like this: beautiful tomatoes of all different stages of development sitting upon crisp white window panes in order to bask in the ripening sun.
(This is what happens when one sends young children out to harvest RIPE tomatoes.)
Upon the advice of several friends and the ease with which the task is accomplished, I've decided to can more whole tomatoes in jars this year and see how I like it. Previously, I would make a few batches of salsa and sauce the rest of the tomato harvest. Canning whole tomatoes is much easier than either of those and really just consists of washing the fruit, cutting off the bad spots/stem, shoving them in jars and giving them a nice hot bath.
Spaghetti sauce is a bit more time consuming...there is cutting the tomatoes into smallish chunks, putting them through the food strainer, preparing seasonings/onions/peppers, boiling it all down for hours, adding store-bought tomato paste to thicken and then water-bathing the jars.
Canning whole tomatoes is much easier and faster in the short run. But will it be as easy and fast when dinner is fast approaching and I have 20 minutes to get a pizza in the oven or spaghetti on the table?
That has yet to be determined.
Home canned spaghetti sauce has always been one of those homemade 'convenience foods' and I certainly don't want to lose that!
One thing I know for sure- canning whole tomatoes requires MANY more canning jars and much more space for storage. I have completely filled my whole canning cupboard at this point. The bottom shelf in my kitchen is also full. The top shelf can't be used for full jars because it becomes too heavy and begins to distort. So I have reached the point that always comes around this time where I must be creative with storage.
Bookcases? On the stairs? Under beds? On our nightstands?
One never knows what may happen when one gets desperate.