Saturday, March 20, 2010

Tomatoes a-go-go

Whew! Who would have thought it? After the amazing cucumber vine - the vine that keeps on giving, at least 100 cucumbers I reckon - I am on the receiving end of kilos and kilos of tomatoes. The photo above is but a fraction of the plenty. Aren't they gorgeous?
The only downside (if you can call it a downside) is the imperative to do something with all those tomatoes, like now! I've never been in the position where I've had to preserve so many tomatoes so this is somewhat of a steep learning curve for me.
As I write 6 kilos of tomatoes are bubbling away, with onion, vinegar, salt and sugar to make a homemade tomato sauce. Still three hours to go there!
I have plans to freeze some tomatoes, oven dry some and if possible make an Italian-style passata. Everything is experimental, I'm just trying to suss out what works best for me if I am ever in the fortunate position to deal with so many tomatoes again. (I've been gardening long enough to know this season may well be a flash in the pan. Gardening is an amazing humbler).
Meanwhile, I've taken on board all the helpful suggestions regarding yogurt making and just now am waiting for the milk temperature to fall between 40 and 45 degrees so I can add the yogurt culture. Thank you to everyone who took to trouble to comment on that post.

Meanwhile, again, don't forget my super amazing giveaway - TWO Backyard Farmers books. Just leave a comment about what you think makes a good blog (not necessarily what makes this blog good - although if you feel so inclined I ain't going to argue).

Hope everyone's weekends are going well


Marc Olson said...

I encountered the same dilemma here in Mexico with my huge, self-seeded tomatoes. They keep extending, threatening to take over more and more space, covering other plants and flowers, but I haven't the heart to pull them out, not with all the good tomatoes they are producing. However, I can't possibly eat them all. Giving some away, and making tomato sauce is my answer. It freezes well and is delicious! I continue enjoying your blog.

Sincerely, Emily said...

Paola - you poor poor thing - oh to have so many fresh tomatoes - what a terrible predicament. I am joking! It seems to all happen at the same time, all at once. I hope all your experiments work out. AND I hope your yogurt worked this time. We are just entering the time to plant. I still have lettuce and cabbage growing from our winter, but it is time to start planting other spring garden things.....then it froze last night and will again tonight. I am trying to hard to be patient. Glad I held off a bit. Once it warms back up I will be out there at full speed. My tomato seedlings are only 3" tall, so I will be behind. I bought a few tomato plants to hold me over so I will hopefully have some tomatoes. I will be better planned and prepared for the fall planting. Have fun with your tomatoes.

Hey, did your volunteer plant in the steps produce anything?

Emily in South Texas

Paola said...

Marc, Thanks for the feedback on freezing tomatoes as a sauce. I'm going to try that next.

Emily, my predicament is truly tragic!! One thing I don't have to worry about around here is frosts or freezing - 10 degrees C is considered cold. It must make timing your plantings a bit difficult. And yes! The yogurt has worked. See the latest post!