In my neck of the woods the tomatoes are producing like mad right now. I have quite a few tomato plants in the garden, including Roma tomatoes, yellow pear tomatoes, yellow cherry tomatoes, a few types of red cherry tomatoes, and a few larger unknown varieties. With all the rain and warm temps we've had over the last few months the vines are absolutely loaded with fruit, and I pick a good sized basket full every day now. I've already used some of the larger tomatoes for chili and a chicken dish, and I munch on the cherry tomatoes like they're candy. I still end up with more tomatoes than I can use before they go bad though. I know many people like to can tomatoes, but the thought of adding even more heat to an already hot house isn't very appealing to me. Several years ago I discovered that you can preserve tomatoes very simply by freezing them. Just place your washed and dried tomatoes in a single layer on a cookie sheet (I put a towel on my so the tomatoes don't get bruised) and put the sheet in the freezer. Use the best tomatoes you can for this. Try to avoid freezing tomatoes with bruises, spots, or other damage- use those fresh and just cut out the bad spots.
Let the tomatoes harden up for several hours until they're frozen solid. Then you can just store them in a freezer bag and pull out what you need as you need it. To thaw the tomatoes you can put them under running water. As the tomatoes thaw the skins slip off, which is very convenient. This works for any size or type of tomato. Don't try to put them in the bag before they're frozen because they'll probably get squashed and it will be a mess when you go to thaw them out. (Trust me, I'm speaking from experience- LOL). I usually end up with enough preserved tomatoes to get me through the winter and following spring. And when you freeze them at the peak of ripeness like this that delicious flavor (along with all those healthy nutrients) is preserved beautifully. I turn my tomatoes into pasta sauce, chili, tacos, and all sorts of delicious things. They blend beautifully with the garlic, onions, peppers, eggplant, and fresh herbs from my garden.
I just wanted to share this useful little tip for preserving tomatoes- it's saved me a lot of time and tomatoes!
Thanks for stopping by! =)
-Michelle of CreativeCritters
I have a studio on ArtFire at http://creativecritters.artfire.com where I sell my polymer clay sculptures, miniature houses, pen sets, jewelry, cloth dolls, knit toys, and World of Warcraft plush Taurens. I love creating, and when I'm not doing that there's a good chance I'm outdoors. I enjoying tending my flower and vegetables gardens, taking long walks, watching the animals, and just breathing the fresh air. I'm married and have 2 sweet kitties. When I'm reading, it's usually fantasy, which fills my head with ideas for my artwork. I also exercise on a regular basis (and come up with more creative ideas while I'm doing that). I'm a very active person and always like to be doing something.