Today I ate the last dozen or so Sungold tomatoes. I would like to note that it is November, and this is amazing. I would have documented the occasion, but I was at work and forgot my camera. The garden kept going all the way through the second-to-last week of October, finally succumbing to a hard frost somewhere over the nights of October 23rd and 24th. It was a fantastic run. I can only tally what we canned or froze, but here’s where we stand in our first large-scale effort to preserve our harvest for later use:
- 22 jars dill pickles
5 jars bread and butter pickles
12 jars sweet banana peppers
4 jars green tomato chutney (hurrah! A use for unripe green tomatoes at the end of the season!)
56 cups of diced tomatoes
8 bags of beans
1 bag of peas
3 bags of corn
- 3 bags of peppers (jalapeno & Fooled You)
It was not a stellar year for either the peas or the corn – although we did eat some fresh – but it was an amazing year for tomatoes. We boiled, peeled, seeded & diced those suckers in 2-cup increments and froze them for use in cooking. We’ve already used about 9 bags so far, and the taste is so much better than even the canned organic tomatoes I normally buy. However, all these frozen vegetables take up a bit of room, as you can see:
There’s no way to really calculate what we harvested and ate fresh – over the long weekend of Columbus Day, J harvested about 15 of our Bride eggplants, fire roasted them, and turned them into eggplant dip. We ate one container, and froze the other two for future consumption as the recipe calls exclusively for Asian eggplants and we can’t get them around here unless we grow them. So we’ll defrost that container, maybe for New Year’s, and think longingly of fresh summer vegetables. It’s just about enough time to have forgotten how hot and backbreaking it is to weed in the middle of summer.
Until next year……
The tomatoes keep coming – every week we are filling a large bowl full of Roma, Mortgage Lifter, Brandywine & Kellogg tomatoes:
This particular bowl full is just Roma, Brandywine & Mortgage Lifter. I have done some extensive reading on the internet about canning tomatoes, but I have a high degree of fear about botulism (who wouldn’t?) for anything that does not involve vinegar, so I have been opting to freeze the tomatoes. But first I have to prepare them. Step one, plunge into boiling water for about a minute to loosen the skins:
Step two, drop into ice water:
Step three, drain and place into a separate bowl:
Steps four, five & six – peel, seed and dice the tomatoes. (Infinitely too messy to do and use my camera, so no photos.)
Step seven – measure out into two cup increments, put in Ziplock bags, and prepare for freezer:
Step eight – repeat weekly, sometimes twice in a single week.
I know this winter when I am pulling them out for soups or chili or some other recipe that calls for diced tomatoes I am going to be so happy I put all this effort in, week after week, preparing and freezing these tomatoes. But right now I’m on step nine – pray for an early killing frost.
I don’t remember meteorologists and reporters being so amped up about the weather when I was a kid. Or maybe they were, but because I didn’t actually own any property that could be damaged, I wasn’t paying attention.
This has been our best year yet for the garden, but Irene is on her way.
|Thar she blows!
The projected path for 8 PM Sunday shows it going right over us. I am incredibly grateful we live nowhere near the coast, but the rainfall predictions and wind gusts do have me a bit worried about what the garden will look like in the morning. Perhaps we’ll learn at what wind speed tomatoes become airborn. It will solve the problem about what to do with all of our tomatoes, anyway, and doesn’t involve me making sauce.