So many tomatoes!!!

HeyJude2012(10b/24 San Diego)August 28, 2013

I know this is more for posting garden questions but I just wanted to tell y'all that I have tomatoes coming out of my ears and was trying to find something different to do with them.

I found a recipe for Ketchup online and I cooked it all up in my crockpot. It's delicious!

Next is cream of tomato soup!

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Remember Gomer Pyle? How about tomato pie?

    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 7:49PM
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Good deal Jude! And with more warm weather until November/Dec, you should be inundated for awhile.


    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 6:33PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

The best use I have found for excess tomatoes, is to make sauce and/or paste.

Check with harvest forum.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 7:51PM
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If you have too many to process all at once -- I just started freezing them whole this year and it seems to work just fine.

You wash and core the tomatoes and then I just packed them in vacuum bags and stopped the vacuum sealer manually right at the point where the juice started flowing out of the tomatoes. I have a whole freezer full now and expect that chili, sauce or whatever cooking that needs tomatoes will be filled through the winter. I know they won't have a fresh flesh consistency anymore, but anything cooked tends to break that down anyway.

Got them out of the garden and into storage pretty quick this way -- which was necessary this year with 60 plants that all produced well.

My second favorite is to wash, core, quarter and cook briefly (just enough to warm them up but not enough to cook them down), then put the whole mess in the blender and run it through a sieve. All of the seeds and skins come out like magic and then only the sauce is left without having to blanch and peel.

Cook it down to the thickness you want for sauce or use it straight for fresh tomato juice. Regardless, its a lot less work than peeling.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 8:19PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Freezing whole tomato might sound simple but it takes TOO MUCH valuable freezer space. By a little work you can reduce that volume by 3/4 ending up with about 1/4 of whole tomatoes.
You can do this without a lot of boiling and spending energy.
You can accomplish this by a food processor with fine strainer attachment or a simple strainer $3 to $5 bag, similar to what beer and wine makers use.

Check with HARVEST forum.

This post was edited by seysonn on Sat, Aug 31, 13 at 13:41

    Bookmark   August 30, 2013 at 3:16AM
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I always use my Back to Basics Processor and make tomato juice. I use whatever's on the counter at the time. I reduce it down and add a little bit of canning salt (the recommended amount for canning) and sometimes a touch of sugar. When I've reduced it by ~40 %, I put it in quart jars and can it. Later in the winter, I can use that extra thick juice to make all kinds of things from picante and salsa to soups, stews, ketchup, or whatever trips my trigger.

Years of trying to do whole or chunked tomatoes just didn't work out. If all else fails, I also love tomato juice that has that taste of fresh from the garden.


    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 12:10PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

In average, tomatoes are 90% water. Part of the remaining 10% consist of SEEDs , SKIN and bad pulp.
So in effect, a can of tomato paste is reduce by more than 80%.
Spaghetti sauce is reduced my more than 60%.

Reducing above percentages by boiling is both TIME and ENERGY consuming. There is a much simple method:

1- wash them
2- smash them and blend with stick/hand blender(in the same pot). Until fine pree.
3- Strain through a Jap/chinese rice strainer. You will get the skin, seeds, hard pulp out.
4- pour the strained must/puree into a a bag(made of fine woven fabric, cotton or nylon) and tighten its mouth.
5- Like making cheese, put some weight on it. You should see almost clear water with a little color coming out.
6- when it is reduced to the thickness that you wanted,, empty it to a pot, cook a little bit and can it.
7- use the juice as drink, make soups, ..etc.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 2:10PM
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