Thursday, August 27, 2009

Tomato Madness

Wednesday I spent my day putting up the tomatoes I have been gathering from the garden. The garden is in disarray though. Plants are down and drying up. Weeds are overtaking areas of the garden again because when the plants came in, it was impossible to weed. And now that they are dying, the weeds are back. UGH! I am letting it go for now but when everything is dead I will go out and do a massive garden cleaning.

We are also without air conditioning for a few days since our old one needed to be replaced. So it's not good that I have to heat the tomatoes to get the skin off. I shut down the house this morning and pulled down all the shades so I could to keep it dark. I am in heaven, of course. Because I would live in cave and be perfectly happy as long as it had indoor plumbing and a decent kitchen. Oh yeah it would need to have internet service, satellite TV and A/C as well. Anyway, the back of the house is super duper dark and staying cool. Unfortunately, we get the afternoon sun in the living room and it gets warmer.

But I have to do something with this over abundance of tomatoes. The good thing is that I found this super easy way of putting up tomatoes from the blog: Southern Plate. If you never have read Southern Plate you are missing out. Christy has the best recipes there. It is a great blog with tons of info. One day while on Twitter, she tweeted the link to this method of putting up tomatoes for the winter. Since I have no clue to what I am doing in terms of the garden or storing food, I found this to be perfect for a novice like me. It's so easy!

Like I said, the problem today was that I have to boil them to get the skin off and make it easier to peel them. So it got a little hot in the kitchen. I can't even exercise today because I don't want to overheat. (Okay, that's just a phony excuse to not exercise. Sue me and stop judging me like the evil Wii, whatever!) But I had to do it because there is no room in the kitchen. I know I will have another basket of tomatoes from the garden tomorrow.

I already have 3 one-gallon Ziploc bags of tomatoes in the freezer. I also have another gallon Ziploc bag filled with spaghetti sauce I made with fresh tomatoes, leftover meatballs from the party and fresh garden basil. I got 4 one-quart bags full after all was said and done today. I do have more tomatoes but they aren't ripe yet but sometimes I have to pick the tomatoes before their time since they are on the garden floor. Some have been eaten by the varmints so I try to get them before they do. I suspect I will have tomatoes for at least 2-3 weeks. We are being really selfish and not giving any of these babies away. Sorry peeps.

So that just means I have to keep putting them up for the next few weeks. But I certainly won't regret it when I reach into the freezer in December or January and pull out them out and have fresh tomatoes for soup or sauce. The work is worth it.

Here is my process (well actually Christy's from Southen Plate) step by step in pictures: