Sunday, September 16, 2007

Why I need a chest freezer

Attack of the Killer Red Rounds
Hmmm...well, we got an email late last week from our CSA that extra tomatoes would be available for (discounted) purchase at the farmer's market on Saturday. So we planned to get a few.

We ended up with 1/2 a bushel of red round tomatoes (for $13.50).

This may not sound like a lot of tomatoes, but believe me, it really is.

I spent most of Saturday processing tomatoes for freezing. I've never frozen tomatoes before (except as sauce), so it was a learning experience. I followed the directions from Pick Your Own
(with illustrations!), so I hope they turn out okay. I kind of liked the process of boiling, ice bathing and then peeling the tomatoes - kind of like peeling a sunburn, but way less gross (but equally satisfying). Then I cored them, quartered 'em, squished all the seeds and liquid into a bowl (which I strained for the juice at the end), and then packed them into bags. I think we got 2 gallons and 2 quarts out of it - not packed full, but kind of flat in the bags so they don't take up lot of room in the freezer.

That only used about half the tomatoes.

Then I made another batch of tomato sauce. This time I used half dried herbs and half fresh. We cooked it all night long, and got it in the freezer today - 2 quarts, 2 pints frozen and 1 quart in the fridge.

We still have 16 tomatoes to deal with. AAAGGHH!

No, really, it's ok. A few will become salsa, because we have cilantro to use up from the CSA. I'm thinking of trying this weird tomato pudding recipe out of Passionate Vegetarian, but we'll see if I get around to that tomorrow. The rest? I don't know. Maybe we'll have a lot of caprese salads this week. Maybe we'll be passing them along to friends. Or I might be able to bring myself to freeze another batch on Tuesday. That is, if the fruitflies don't fly away with them first...

Colder Than a Witches What Now?
So as I was checking my email last night, I noticed that my desktop weather channel icon was blinking red in my taskbar, which usually means a thunderstorm watch or some such thing. I clicked on it, but instead of a thunderstorm watch I see that there is a FROST advisory. Yep. I snark about it to Chad, and then promptly pass out in bed with the baby before 8 p.m.

I woke up this morning to find all of the herbs in our basement, and our four tomato plants draped in lots of towels in the backyard.

Everything survived. Best. Husband. Ever. :)

Coming Soon:
Apples. We also bought a big bag of apples this weekend. So I'll be dealing with those soon, too. A few will surely end up as a crisp, and maybe we'll try to dehydrate a few, too. But the rest I think we'll par-blanch and then freeze.

We're seriously running short on freezer space.


Woolfairy said...

Wow. Truly best. husband.ever. (Don't tell mine. But he would never do that)

Do you have Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone? She has a Tomato Tart (Tender Tomato Tart?) in there that is amazing and a great use for an overabundance of tomatoes. My 6yo and 2yo both love it.

And the roasted tomatoes were a huge hit. My DH thought they were store bought (I tried not to be insulted! LOL)

Lochlan said...

I'm glad you linked to this blog because I hadn't seen it before!! Go you! Sounds like you are eating like royalty! I totally LOVE eating local and all homemade because it makes me feel fulfilled and filled. Junk food just made me hungrier. I feel happier making the food than I do mindlessly eating.

anyway......have you dehydrated anything yet? I have one from my mom and I have yet to use it. Let me know if anything turns out great!

I have a fab recipe for baked oatmeal if you are interested. It comes out sort of like a cake.