Thursday, June 23, 2011

Gotsa Lotsa Tomatoes?

Everyone has a ton of tomatoes this time of year. I had big plans to can all these tomatoes. Big plans.

That’s all they are now is big plans.

Fortunately, I discovered a much easier method. Freezing. What was I thinking? This is so easy! Let’s go!

First, you’ll begin by doing one of two things.

One, give yourself a pat on the pat on the back for being such a fantastic gardener to earn such a harvest.

Or

Be like me and thank your in-laws for being such fantastic gardeners and giving you a whoooole bunch of tomatoes.

I love ’em, but husband hates ’em, so I needed to find a way to save ’em!

There are a multitude of ways to put up vegetables. As I said, I wanted to can. Then I remembered how hot my kitchen gets. Boo. How about freezing? Yeah!

The process I prefer here is to blanch and peel the tomatoes, then chop and freeze.

Some people just blend ’em and freeze ’em! That works too, but I sometimes find the skins get a little tough when it comes time to cook. Your preference.

Enough talkin’, let’s get to blanchin’:

Alright, begin by washing your veggies. Then, take a sharp knife and cut an “X” into the bottom.

This makes the skins slip riiiight off.

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.

Leave the lid on, turn on the vent hood, and get that old box fan out of the garage, it’s about to get steamy in here! Only for a bit. Anyone else have a hot kitchen?! Bleeeck.

 

Place your ‘maters in the pot, put the lid on and NO PEEKING! Just let them bathe for 45 seconds. That’s it!

 

After 45 seconds, take them out, and quickly put them in an ice bath. There’s ice in there. I swear.

Well, there was. I don’t have an ice maker, just two trays. I had to deal with it.

Swirl the girls around for a minute or two.

Ahhhhhhh. They’re cooling off now.

Then the skins slip right off!

NAKED TOMATOES!!!!!!!!!!

Eeeeeeeek!

See how that “X” helped the skins come off? Just pull them off, and place all ‘maters in a bowl.

Now continue the process until all your tomatoes are naked.

I mean blanched.

Teeheeheee.

See how they still have the stems and a little peel? No worries, we’re getting there.

I got a whole big ol’ 20 pound box done in about 2 hours.

Not bad.

Beats canning.

 

Ok, you’ve got all your neked ‘maters. Now three steps left.

The tomato on the left – just slice off the top, and cut in half. Compost the top. Or feed your worms.

~Whaaaat? You don’t have a worm bin??!! You’re missing out!

Tomato two. Dig out all the seeds, and shake out the juice. Give it a loving squeeze. Don’t get crazy about it. I left a few in there for you to see. Just do a pretty good job. You could save the juice I guess and make a homemade V-8. Have you had your V-8 today?

Tomato three. Chop it up! Just a rough chop. Nothing perfect. You’re going to use it for spaghetti sauce more than likely, and no one will know the difference.

 

That’s it!! Fill up quart sized freezer bags, squeeze out the extra air, and freeze!
Use all winter long!

Now you tell me, what’s your favorite way to use your saved winter tomatoes?

~Peace, Love, and Blanching Ya’ll! 🙂

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