We have an abundance of tomatoes right now; since I have dozens of canning jars and plenty of experience canning, I set out to make use of our bounty. I checked the cabinets and discovered that I did, indeed, have enough canning flats and rings to do the job.
Next, I went upstairs to the closet of my "junk room" where I have boxes and boxes full of Ball jars. I wasn't of a mind to do any large-scale canning, so I only selected five small-mouth quart jars.
I had to wash the jars, and since I'd be needing both sides of the sink clear, I washed the breakfast dishes while I had soapy water. All the while I'm racking my brain trying to recall how long I needed to cold-pack tomatoes. Finally I checked online: forty-five minutes, once the water reaches a boil.
First, though, the tomatoes must be submerged in boiling water for thirty seconds so they'll peel easily. OK, while that water was heating, I went to the garden and got a few ears of corn; may as well freeze some corn at some point today.
So I'm at the point of taking a break, right now. There are four quarts of tomatoes halfway through their boiling water bath, and the ears of corn are heating up in their own water. Once that comes to a boil, they get four minutes... I think. I'd better check that, too. Then I pour off the hot water, plunge the ears into cold water, and as soon as I can handle it, I cut the kernels off the cob. There might be two quarts of corn when I get done.
So it hit me awhile ago: Four quarts of tomatoes equals eight 14 1/2-ounce cans of store-bought tomatoes. Walmart now has their own brand of unsalted, canned tomatoes for fifty cents a can. So when I'm done, if all the jars seal, I have $4 worth of tomatoes.
Seems like a lot of work just for $4. Not to mention the mess.
I think you can buy frozen corn pretty darned cheap, too.
Oh well, I guess I wasn't doing anything else.