This year, rather than canning tomatoes, I've decided to make and freeze batches of marinara. I realized that for the most part, I use my canned tomatoes to make spaghetti sauce anyway. I love my home-canned, home-grown, delicious organic tomatoes, but the canning season itself always seems to come at a time when I don't have time to perform all that labor-intensive canning nonsense. I tried freezing tomatoes a few years back, at the recommendation of several helpful friends, but I learned that I really dislike working with frozen tomatoes. They seem so unappealing to me. I ended up throwing bags and bags and bags of tomatoes into the compost heap the following year.
On average, I go through at least one quart of purchased marinara weekly throughout the year. And making marinara to freeze is -- at least it seems it to me -- less work than canning tomatoes. The process seems less overwhelming, and maybe even more satisfying. It takes a few more raw materials, and after the skins and seeds are milled out, and the sauce cooked down to thicken, it results in a smaller volume of sauce per pound of tomatoes, but still, I've been ending up with three quarts each Saturday for the last three Saturdays. I still have a way to go to fulfill my annual needs for marinara, but the tomatoes are still producing and ripening in my garden, I've grown plenty of onions, and the basil is still growing (though there has been a cold snap recently, to which the basil takes umbrage. So that might be the end of that.) I didn't grow my own garlic this year (boo! hiss!) so I had to purchase my garlic at the farmer's market.
So if you own stock in Bove's, I'm sorry. I will be purchasing less of their goodness this year. Because I have made my own, even more delicious, goodness. And I know exactly where all most of the ingredients have come from: My garden.