|Someone's gotta fill Ben's shoes in the kitchen when he's away at school.|
Actually, what happened was that the farmer offered me a bushel of tomatoes instead of the half-bushel I had ordered. When I waffled, he laconically mentioned that he'd just throw them away otherwise because they were truly seconds tomatoes and wouldn't last much longer. That, my friends, is my favorite reason for preserving food: so it is not wasted in the horribly common way that we Westerners take our food for granted. So yes, I took the entire bushel. I had to buy more jars, push other things off my to-do list, and stick some tomatoes in the freezer.
There's the tip: freeze whole tomatoes and then when you defrost them, you can pull the peels off with your fingers in the same manner as if you had blanched them. I set aside 5 pounds to make smoked tomato chutney once I had dealt with the really-almost-rotten tomatoes.
And then I looked over at the stove and realized I had another tip to share. I occasionally buy bunches of mint at market to make iced mint tea. I keep the mint tied in a bunch, upside down in the hot water. When it's done steeping, I pull out the bunch, squeezing the liquid out.