One of the biggest reasons for my garden was to grow tomatoes that I could freeze and possibly use all year long. Last year, I utilized our CSA to buy a big bushel of them and made a serious amount of frozen crushed tomatoes that I used over the year for Tomato Bisque Soup, Pork Sauce and Chili. This year, I planted mostly roma tomatoes because those are the sauciest tomatoes. And I thought I was saucy!
I’ve been picking them as they’ve ripened, but the great majority of them haven’t ripened, but I still had a decent amount picked! Because the mini-ions and I are going away, I knew I needed to process what I had before they went bad, and hope while we are away, we’ll have the whole rest to pick. Also, I needed to make gazpacho before we left and wanted to use the tomato juice instead of buying some.
I’m so darn proud of the food that I’m growing, which is helping to cut grocery costs and provide healthy food. Almost as if I’m bringing in money to support our family, but instead of money, it is what money would buy. Another way I can contribute when I’m not in the work force bringing home checks. While I do love being home with our mini-ions and the contributions I make at home, I also miss the pride of bringing home a paycheck. This helps.
I’m calling this an Act of Summer Awesomeness (#58) because I really think it is. I think it is awesome that the mini-ions and I are going into the garden, picking food, processing it together (yikes!!) and we’ll be able to eat it all year long.
But, in order to call it an Act of Summer Awesomeness, I needed to have the mini-ions help. And Mini-ion #1 did! After I cleaned the tomatoes, he cut the little “X” in the skin. I then dropped the tomatoes into boiling water for 45 seconds, then in a pot of ice water. Mini-ion #1 scooped them out of the ice water, onto the cutting board.
I peeled the tomatoes, squeezed the juice into a colander with coffee filters which dripped to make the tomato juice for the upcoming gazpacho. I quartered the tomatoes, and put a handful in the saucepan, over medium. I crushed them in the bottom of the saucepan so they would give off juices, stirring frequently until it started boiling. Little by little I added the rest of the quartered tomatoes, stirring frequently.
Once all the tomatoes where in and it was simmering gently, I let it simmer for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Then, turned off the heat and let it cool to room temperature before packing it up for the freezer.
This little crop only got me 1 cup of frozen crushed tomatoes and 1 cup of tomato juice. I can’t wait to see what we get the rest of the summer!
- Save a little summer sun in your freezer: Freezing fresh tomatoes (inmamastephskitchen.com)
- A single mum (workingmumuk.wordpress.com)
- First Time for Everything (tightwadfarming.wordpress.com)