Using fresh tomatoes in place of store bought canned tomatoes is much tastier. Unfortunately, the amount of work added to prepare the tomatoes is really only worth it during the tomato season. When the tomatoes actually taste and smell like something. ?(Note: I have to admit moving to a warmer place where the tomato season is longer has very literally?crossed my?mind. Just not my husband?s.)

In lieu of living in paradise, what are the options?

During the right season: go to your local farmer?s market and buy tons of beautiful and fragrant tomatoes; peel them, seed them and can them. You can do it! A few years ago, during my canning phase?I managed to can 50 lbs of tomatoes. I just loved having those jars during the winter that followed. I prepared them in three different ways: I had some plain whole tomatoes, some smaller cans of salsa, and a few canned sauces.

When there?s always a time where you have to buy them from the store, choose the best tomatoes you can. I usually go for San Marzano tomatoes,?real?San Marzanos. If possible try to avoid actual CANS and prefer glass jars or tetra pak.

Peeling the skin of tomatoes is easy! Mark the tomatoes with an X and place them in a bowl. Pour some HOT water over them and wait a couple minutes. When you see the skin around the X starting to give up, empty the hot water and rinse them with cold water so you can manipulate the tomatoes without burning your fingers. The skin should come off very easily.