Here's the update: the new tomato crusher arrived. It's deep in color, nice grip area. I'm dying to make salsa to can. will check the local farmer's market today. Compare this one to the one below. I love the cut-out area for your hands.
Ok, ok, it isn't time yet. Matter of fact, I only have really little green tomatoes on my vines, but I can hardly wait! I am dying to do my own crushed tomatoes this summer. There's an article in the magazine called Taste of the South. It's about canning crushed tomatoes. The article introduces the reader to a lady called Martha McMillin, owner of a store called Preserving Place. It's in Atlanta, Georgia. Her website show some food products she's made and sells. They sound wonderful. But, I was after a tool she showed in the article. It's a Kraut Mallet. She uses it to crush tomatoes. It's made by a local woodcrafter out of walnut. An old tree fell and they're using its wood to make these mallets. Her shop is loaded with preserving tools and lots of hospitality. I called her to inquire about this gorgeous and hopefully useful tool. Her voice was warm and so friendly. If you call her, she'll mail you just about anything she's got for sale. She uses a Fed Ex cheap shipping, so with my darling WA state tax, this 14" long mallet ran me $30. It'll last a lifetime and I plan on leaving it to my grandkids!!!
She explained that she asked the woodcrafter to make a special area for where you put your hand. She wanted it comfortable and workable. I love that someone thinks of these things. A regular cabbage mallet looks like this:
What is available for me to can right now are strawberries. Will be making some serious jam.