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Growing Tomatoes
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ddpie
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Joined: 18 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pattit wrote:
ddpie, freezing really is the way to go, so much easier. I blanch the larger tomaotes, peel them, put them in a freezer zip lock bag and get all the air out I can and just put them in the freezer. It is so much less of a hassle, and I am inclined to do it more often instead of waiting for a huge amount like I did when I canned.


Thanks patti, I usually make tons of fresh salsa but find myself still canning on a hot Aug. day. I might not have that problem this year though because I planted different plants at different times to spread out the "harvest" times.

I think I will freeze them as I go though, so thanks!

BTW, anyone tried to do "sun dried" tomatoes the natural way? (box and a screen in the sun, all that crap) Or perhaps in a food dehydrator? I've always been too chicken to try it. Afraid I'll go through all that trouble and be left with non-edible tomato leather LOL

~ddpie~
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lv2cook
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Joined: 26 May 2007
Posts: 248

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can "oven dry" tomatoes, too. Take about 4 pounds of tomatoes and cut in half lengthwise and place cut side up on baking sheets. Combine about 3 tablespoons kosher salt with 3 tablespoons sugar and sprinkle about 1/2 teaspoon of this mixture over each tomato. Place in the oven and cook slowly at 150 degrees; about 10 hours. I put my tomatoes in right before I go to bed and remove them in the morning. Allow to cool and refrigerate. This makes about six cups.
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EC
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Joined: 08 Jun 2007
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Location: Weird, New Jersey

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whoa. Sheila's quickly becoming the tomato queen, isn't she? I love the idea of baking them and freezing them. Do you peel them at all before using in the sauce after thawing them? Also, of what importance is the parchment paper?

The oven dried tomatoes are going to be a must try for me also. Too bad my tomato plants are growing excrutiatingly slow this year! Crying or Very sad
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pattit
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Joined: 25 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would never be brave enough to try it out in the sun with the screen etc., too afraid of bugs! Yuck! But I have GOT to remember the oven drying. I just love dried tomatoes.
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lv2cook
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eric...that's because I never want to run out of tomatoes - ha, ha, ha!

I use the parchment paper because it collects all the juice/olive oil/flavorings, etc. of the roasted tomatoes. If you don't use the paper, the wonderful flavors just stick to the pan or roast away.

No, I do not peel the tomatoes. When you get around to roasting a batch, mix them warm with some cooked pasta - heaven!
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EC
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

lv2cook wrote:
Eric...that's because I never want to run out of tomatoes - ha, ha, ha!

I use the parchment paper because it collects all the juice/olive oil/flavorings, etc. of the roasted tomatoes. If you don't use the paper, the wonderful flavors just stick to the pan or roast away.

No, I do not peel the tomatoes. When you get around to roasting a batch, mix them warm with some cooked pasta - heaven!



My garden tomatoes aren't even close to being ready yet but that sounds so good, I'm gonna make sure Em picks up a bunch of extra at the farm this friday. And the peel doesn't affect the consistancy of any future sauce you make with it?
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lv2cook
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tell Em to p/u some fresh basil and add that to the bowl of roasted tomatoes...even better!

No, I have never had a problem with the skins...they roast for so long, they basically break down. Occasionally, one skin might appear in a sauce...just plunk it out.
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EC
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Joined: 08 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

lv2cook wrote:
Tell Em to p/u some fresh basil and add that to the bowl of roasted tomatoes...even better!

No, I have never had a problem with the skins...they roast for so long, they basically break down. Occasionally, one skin might appear in a sauce...just plunk it out.


I can deal with the skin in the sauce, i think. No need to buy basil as my basil plant is putting out some serious product this year!

I'm really psyched to try this soon.
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Qui
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Joined: 08 Aug 2007
Posts: 2744
Location: Gainesville, FL

PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When air drying tomatoes or jerky...be sure to put ground pepper on them before you dry them...so you won't have to worry about what the black spots are...
That's what I was told by a farmers wife who gave me the directions...40 years ago...and I still won't dry outside...lol

I have air dried on the screen porch tho...Air dried is a bit different texture, I think....takes an awful lot of cheesecloth... I cover everything in a cacoon of it...lol
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pattit
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Joined: 25 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I could not remember who to thank for this wonderful idea. Thank you, thank you, thank you Sheila. I did this with tray after tray of tomatoes and one of peaches, minus the salt of course. They turned out fantastic. Last night I used them in cooking for the first time, I made a creamy pesto sauce, added the dried tomatoes and some sauteed chicken tenders and mixed it all up with fetticine pasta. It was delicious, hubby kept sneaking pieces of tomato while I was cooking, declaring how great they tasted. Hubby and I are both grateful to you.
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