The obvious answer is to "can" them. What I do with most of
ours though is peel them and simmer them down to sauce. Then
into good ziplock bags and lay them flat in the freezer.
"Fresh" sauce all year.
put some in the freezer whole. The skins slip when thawing.
The sauces can be frozen. I usually can mine since the freezer is
full of things that do not can well, like strawberries and broccoli.
"Moral indignation is in most cases two percent moral,
I like to put up a couple dozen quarts of salsa. This time of
year I use any leftover salsa up by adding a quart to a pound of
hamburg, 1/4 cup taco seasoning, a cup of pasta and a cup of water.
Sprinkle with grated cheddar- serve with sour cream.
I also can chili sauce. [anyone know why it is called chili sauce?
There are no chilies in it and I have never seen a chili recipe that
called for it?]
This is my recipe-
1 peck tomatoes [10 quarts- or about 17 pounds]
2 1/2 c chopped onions
6 inches stick cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground cloves
4 1/2 c brown sugar
4 c chopped celery
2 1/2 c chopped green pepper
1 T dry mustard
1 qt cider vinegar
1/4 cup salt
Peel and cut tomatoes in chunks into a large kettle.
Cook 15 minutes; *then drain off half of the juice.*
Add celery, onion and green pepper. Simmer 1 1/2 hours.
Add remaining ingredients. Continue cooking 1 1/2 hours. Remove
cinnamon. Fill pint jars; process in boiling water bath for 5 minutes.
I also dry a bunch. If you're in Phoenix you might be able to sun
dry them. In my part of the world we get too much humidity and too
little sun to make that feasible. I use an electric dryer. [paid
$10 at a garage sale for one-- got another for $2 last weekend] The
dryer is in the garage so it doesn't heat up the house.
Dried tomatoes are good as an addition to any tomato dish. I use
them to 'thicken' my canned salsa after opening the jar. Everyone
eats them like candy if I leave them out.
Once dried I keep them in the freezer. I'm guessing, but I think a
couple bushels dry down to a gallon or so.
The easiest way is to have a lot of paste tomato plants, which are
ideal for canning. Every year I reduce the number of slicing tomato
plants and increase the San Marzanos (now they are 50%, or 9 of 18).
And I don't even can. When making salsa, or bruschetta, or for a quick
pasta with blended tomato, garlic, and basil sauce, they are the
tomatoes to use. Same for midsummer mixed vegetable soups, when you get
only a handful of okra, one zucchini, a handful of string beans, etc.
The base has to be paste tomato because slicing tomatoes make a pale,
less flavorful broth.
I am in UK and wonder if I understand 'can' in the same way that you
do. To me it means tin cans and that says to me you have some sort of
large industrial plant at the end of your garden making tinned
Or are you talking about putting them into glass jars?
Personally I like the idea of frezzing and have done this myself last
year. One pound bags of chopped toms.
Also, a guy asked earlier about drying - that sounds interesting -
Yes, the reference to canning implies in glass jars (usually
Mason jars) and processed in a hot water bath.
I just peel them and cook them down into totally unseasoned
tomato sauce and freeze in ziplock bags. Works very well.
Freezes flat so they stack nicely and we have "fresh" sauce
As for drying, the question was about sun-drying as I recall
which is why I didn't answer as I've never done that. You
can dry in the oven as well though.
Preheat the oven to 200dF (TOPS). Quarter the tomatoes and
place them in a single layer on non-stick baking sheets.
Some people seed them, I don't. Personal preference.
Others flavor them with herbs/spices at this point. I don't.
Again, personal preference.
Into the oven for 16-20 hours (no I'm not kidding)
The goal here is not to cook them but to dry them out.
I do this quite frequently in my Little Chief cold smoker
for smoked, dried tomatoes. They're fantastic but you have
to be careful what type of wood to use while in the smoking
process and how long you keep the wood on the heating element.
After they're dried, you can store them in sterilized jars
covered with olive oil and sealed tightly. They'll keep for
2-3 weeks that way in the 'fridge. I vacuum seal them and
into the freezer.
*snip summary: Tomato preserving ideas, especially unseasoned.*
I like unseasoned too. You lose something when THEY (I.E. canning
manufacturers) put in their onion, garlic, other herbs and spices you'd
Tomato sauces are my base for spaghetti sauce (simple recipie) and soup
(mainly vegetable, but with hamburger for seasoning.) That's why we
plant so many tomato plants each year.
Wise is the man who attempts to answer his question before asking it.
To email me directly, send a message to puckdropper (at) fastmail.fm
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