Remember these little guys that I planted way back in April?
Well, they’re not little anymore! I transplanted eight tomato plants outside in May, and they all survived…thrived, actually! And by late July I had a bumper crop of romas in the making. I’ve been picking, washing, ripening and processing these juicy red fruits until I can hardly stand to look at them any more! But my plants have a disease and are dying off slowly. So, it looks like I’ll soon be out of the tomato-harvesting business anyway. Since I don’t have a pressure canner or even a big pot to do water-bath canning, I’ve been freezing my tomatoes instead. The first batch I stewed for chili and such, but the next time around, I made tomato sauce that I will use for spaghetti, pizza and the like.
This was easier in many ways because I didn’t have to blanche and skin the maters first. I simply quartered them and pulled out the seeds. That was kind of messy, but I’d prefer not to have seeds in my tomato sauce, so it was worth it.
Then I sliced the tomato quarters into pieces about 1 inch in size and tossed them into the blender. The pureed tomato went into a large stock pot, where I boiled it over medium low heat until it was reduced by half and thickened to the right consistency.
After that, I poured the tomato sauce into reusable containers and popped them into the deep freeze.
I have lots more tomatoes ripening in brown paper bags in the pantry, and I’m not really looking forward to processing them all. But I keep reminding myself that this winter it will be good to have my very own tomatoes to use in my cooking.
Happy tomato picking to the rest of your gardeners out there! 🙂