Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tomato Time

This year we grew eight varieties of tomatoes.  Four were from the Ed Hume Rainbow Heirloom Blend Seed Packet, two were old reliables, one was a new yellow cherry for us, and one was a standard red cherry.  It has been a warm August and September and we are being rewarded with a bounty of beautiful tomatoes.

Top Left to Right- Oregon Spring, Black Prince, Evergreen, and unidentified extra large heirloom.
Bottom Left to Right- Pink Oxheart?, Stupice, a generic Red Cherry, and Gold Nugget.

The earliest ones to start ripening were the Gold Nugget and Stupice.  They were quickly followed by the Red Cherry and Pink Oxheart.  Next were the Black Prince and Oregon Spring, followed by Evergreen and finally the really large heirloom.

My favorite tasting ones from this year's selection are Gold Nugget, Pink Oxheart and Black Prince.  I also like the Evergreen tomato for the unique color and because it mild and juicy.

I've been freezing the extras by blanching, skinning, deseeding, and packing the tomato meat in ziplock freezer bags.  Last year I froze a bunch by just washing and tossing in a freezer bag.  It was quick and easy, but when they defrost there is a lot of water to boil off if you make sauces and a lot of seeds in the sauce.  I hope the extra time I put in processing this year, will help save time when I go to used them later.

Another tip, process tomatoes soon after picking.  I left a few huge bowls of tomatoes (as well as a lot of other veggies) on the counter for way too long and some were splitting and attracting fruit flies.  Once I got everything cleaned up, I still had a bunch of flies hanging out (think 40 or so).  Super annoying.  After failing at trying to catch and squish them, I finally used my head and brought out the trusty hoover and sucked them up using the handheld extension hose.  Luckily my cabinets are white, so I could spot the flies easily.  It was like the housewife version of playing Nintendo.  

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