Can them whole, can them as juice, can them as spaghetti sauce,
can them as chili sauce, but just can them. I remember one summer my
mother and I went through about 12 bushel of tomatoes, canning them in
one form or another. We were using any jar that we could dig up that
would accept a mason lid or a clamp-down rubber ring. We canned more
produce that year than we could eat in the whole next year. If we
found some jars, we'd find something to put in them. Can those
tomatoes, for next year your crop may not come in at all.
Fried green tomatoes is right nice! Also...
Canning is great for tomatoes, make salsa, or V-8 juice, or tomato juice, or
even better here is a link to a wine recipe that won two first place ribbons
in competitions. They are too good to waste!
I freeze lots of cherry tomatoes. Just rinse them and freeze them.
I use them in sandwiches throughout the year by partially thawing
and then flattening them using the blade of my chef's knife.
I also get many pounds of tomatoes as you described and
process them in about 5 to 10 pound batches where I'll liquify
them using the blender as you described. Then what I'll do is
strain them to remove the seeds and large bits of skin. I store
the liquified tomatoes in the refrig until I get about 15 cups of
liquified tomatoes that I'll cook to make spaghetti sauce
and pizza sauce. I do the same thing by cooking some Chili
and freezing it. Each batch of spaghetti sauce I cook typicaly
includes about 6 pounds of beefcubes/meatballs/sausage
that I also freeze.
I freeze the cooked sauces and store them in those plastic
containers that measure about 10" by 6" by 2". When I need
sauce throughout the year, I place the frozen block on my cutting
board and use an ice pick to put a few dimples in a straight line
across the block then I drive the pick all the way through in the
center and the piece I need breaks off cleanly. Actually quite
easy to do this. You can always get just the right amount you
need for any meal, large or small.
One other thing I do with all this cooked sauce is I'll make a
huge batch of Lasagna and cut it into meal sized pieces and
freeze it in plastic containers.
Sure, all the above is lots of work but it really pays off throughout
the year when you can put together great meals in very short
time using the frozen goods. Using my frozen goods, I can put
together a meal of chii in about 3 minutes. I can put together a
meal of pasta & meat using my frozen spaghetti sauce &
frozen meats in about 15 minutes.
I also make lots of pizza pies throughout the year with my
frozen pizza sauce but that is a whole story in itself. <grin>
I've frozen the suckers whole, in zip lock bags. Just wash and freeze! When
I need tomatoes for a recipie, I take a bag out, put the frozen tomatoes,
sans bag, into a collander and run hot water over them. The skin peels right
off and you can use them whole or cut them while frozen. Only problem I had
was chasing those slippery frozen balls around on my cutting board! Boy can
"---Pete---" < firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message
I enjoy fresh tomatoes from the garden but I have also learned to can them.
It's not difficult to do but if you are balking at peeling and then
freezing them, I suspect it would be best if you only planted one or two
vines next year.
My wife and I look forward to canning as much tomato juice as we possibly
can because we really like tomato juice and the stuff that comes from the
store is best used for washing dogs who offended skunks. It is certainly
not fit for human consumption. Last year we put away 44 qts of juice and
were out of it before February. This year I am shooting for ~100 qts. (14 -
15 canner loads x 7 qts/load).
I should have a powered Victorio food mill coming tomorrow. The hand mill
takes just too much time for the amount of produce we process and the
amount of 'spare' time we have available. We both work and are very active
in our religion and it's tough to peel more time out of an evening than the
hour or so it takes to get a load through the canner.
We have 41 qts of dill pickles (and counting), 9 pints of a very tasty
salsa, 40 1/2 pints of strawberry jam, some dried herbs (dill, oregano, 3
kinds of mint,chamomille, sage), 4 pints dilled green beans, perhaps 20
pounds of garlic and 80 pounds of onions and are only 'getting started'
with the season.
Although we certainly save money by putting food away, we find that we
derive our greatest pleasure from the variety of tastes we get from our own
garden that we simply can't buy in the local stores.
When you open yourself to preserving food, you open the door to flavors you
never knew existed ... good flavors that make no apologies.
Zone 8b (Detroit, MI)
I do not post my address to news groups.
Wash, dry, place in zip lock bag and put in freezer. Pull them out to
use as you need them. The skins slide right off when they thaw. You
can toss them in soups and sauces to get a nice fresh tomato flavor all
We dry a lot of ours, but then, we have a dehydrator. Anyone got one
you can borrow?
Donate to the local food bank?
I got a terrific rash one summer from too many tomatoes. :-)
One of the processes of nature that seems ill-conceived is that all
those lovely tomatoes come ripe at *just* the season one doesn't want
to be boiling and simmering and processing. Much nicer to have a
bucket of 'garden fresh' tomatoes in December when one could really
enjoy a warm kitchen with fragrant pasta sauce simmering on the stove.
And blenderized seeds? Ick.
It may be a bit more trouble, but if you simply chunk up the tomatoes,
cook them a bit to soften, and put through a food mill, seeds and
skins will be left behind, and you'll have a sort of tomato puree base
to freeze. I picked this up from a Jacques Pepin show. The cooking was
*very* brief -- 5 minutes or so in a large shallow pan. I believe he
first sauted some onions and garlic in a little olive oil before
throwing the tomato chunks in. If you're thinking of a chile base,
this would be a good addition. When it's chile time, thaw, and cook to
reduce, or not.
The point is that this method filters out seeds and skin fairly easily
(I *have* done it, and it works), and doesn't take a day's labor doing
that 'peel, (de-) seed, chop' thing.
It would seem to depend on the quantity added. If just a tablespoon or so
for seasoning, I wouldn't think so. I base that on the observation that
such like can be canned up in tomato juice and the amount of added acid is
not increased in the 'official' recipes. I suspect that the two tablespoons
of lemon juice per qt advice actually errs on the side of too much acid to
avoid errors on the side of too little.
Moreover, both the garlic and the onions contribute antibacterial qualities
when fresh. I don't know if they are destroyed by heat or not but even if
they are, they are fresh when added to the puree and would help disinfect
it chemically before the heat disinfection of boiling took over.
Zone 8b (Detroit, MI)
I do not post my address to news groups.
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