Monday, July 12, 2010

A Walk in the Garden: Tomato Talk

When I started the garden in late February, I had high hopes for a fruitful harvest.

Of course I didn't really take into account what I would do with all those veggies.

I figured I would eat some and give-away more.

What I didn't count on was the fact that many, many people in my community also garden as a hobby. Some even garden for profit or to stock their own pantries for the coming year.

Tomatoes seem to love North Carolina so we all have them in abundance.

I realized this week that not only am I getting a tad tired of tomatoes (and cucumbers), those I was pushing veggies on were getting their fill too. People were starting to divert their eyes when I approached with my veggie box, I needed to figure out what to do with my tomatoes.

One of the gals at the pool, who also happens to be my local honey source (she's a beekeeper) suggested I could dry my tomatoes in the oven to use for snacks, sauces, and other recipes.

(Just had to throw in a pic of the the honey I bought.  It's as beautiful as it is delicious.)

She said she oven-dried her tomatoes overnight because it takes a good chunk of time, but that it was an easy process.

She was right.

Here is what I did: (ignore the chunks of this weeks know how i love h2o melon, but its probably not good dried)

I cut the Roma's in half and the Beefsteak in quarters.

I pushed the seeds out with my fingers, laid them skin side down on an ungreased cookie sheet, an sprinkled them with salt. Next time I am going to try to sprinkle basil on them too.

I turned the oven on to 170.

And went to bed.

This morning the smaller pieces were done,but the larger were still a bit moist and thick.

So I put flipped the undercooked ones over and put them back in the oven. I'll pull them out when they look right.

The others I have cooling and will store in a Ziploc bag.

Then I went out to the garden to water and weed....

...and found more tomatoes.

And more tomatoes....

And the beginnings of more tomatoes....

Any one got a good recipe?


Anonymous said...

hmm have you tried salsa? What about making some salsa and canning it? Or making spaghetti sauce and freezing it? Just some ideas off the top of my head! I have only had 3 tomatoes ripen so far.. 3 cherry tomatoes.. Sammy ate them all when I wasn't looking ;-)

mer@lifeat7000feet said...

I'll say it again. You're killin' me with your tomato talk.

My mouth is literally watering.

mer@lifeat7000feet said...

I did see a tomato recipe that looked tasty. You could even leave out the mayo.

His Girl said...

I have a great recipe.

box them up.
jump on a plane.
come visit me in cali & bring a basket full.

Such The Spot said...

Jealous. That is all.

The Lord Family said...

Oh I love thee. I can eat a 'mater sandwich every day. Seriously.

I second the salsa recommendation.

What about making a big batch of tomato sauce and freeze it for the winter? You could use up some of your basil with that too.

Becca @ My Crazy Good Life said...

I'm jealous of your tomatoes!!

Spaghetti sauce? I have an overabundance of basil I could send you :)

Carpool Queen said...

Bring me some when I see you Thursday! I ate my last one today (on a bacon sandwich). YUM.

And La Vida Crafty Girl, why don't you can them? If I can, you can too. One summer I put up twenty quarts and used them over the winter. They were fantastic in soups and stews and sauces.

Amber said...

I've missed you while I was away on my bloggy hiatus.

And the first post I walk back into was about my most favorite summer food!!

There is nothing like fresh-from-the-garden juice running down your arm with a salt shaker in the other hand.

And now I'm hungry.

Sandy M. said...

Oh, I wish we lived closer!!! I'd love some! Of course, if you have way too many,,, CPQ doesn't live far from me....
G. gave me a couple yesterday from her FIL, & I ate one for supper tonight (along w/edamame beans & raw carrots.. wasn't in the mood for a big meal).

O Mom said...

My mouth is watering........

Amy said...

I've eaten tomato sandwiches almost every day for the last few weeks. Jealous of your veggie abundance!!

Anonymous said...

Salsa Caliente!!!!!