Monday, September 8, 2008

Tomato Harvest

I had an odd dream the other night. I was watching the newscast, and they were doing the weather. There was the outline of the state, with double digit numbers all over, followed by this ". My area said 11". Snow, they said we had 11 inches of snow. This was the first I heard about it, so ran wailing outside. Yep, snow all over. And under that snow, were my tomatoes!

Maybe I should have called it a nightmare.

Back to reality. The forecast is for the upper 30's tonight. So while I'm not worried about 11 inches of snow, a frost/freeze isn't out of the realm of possibility. I picked tomatoes.

Two 13 by 9 heaping pans of them. There are more green to slightly orange ones out there, but I'll take my chances on those. Some of these are oranger than I like. I prefer to let them ripen on the vine, but have to make concessions to the weather and critters who might like to eat them at night. I'll give them a few days in the house to ripen a little more. (Oh, that reminds me of a funny [may be considered slightly risque, so if you're delicate about such matters, skip on to the next paragraph] story I found on a greeting card of all places. I'll try to reiterate it as best I can. "There once was a beautiful woman who was having trouble with her garden. No matter what she did, she couldn't get her tomatoes to ripen. Noticing her neighbor's beautiful red tomatoes, she asked of him his secret. He said, oh, all I do is go outside and expose myself to the tomatoes, and they redden right up! So, she went home, and did as he suggested. Every day, she went outside and exposed herself in the garden. After a couple of weeks, the neighbor came over and asked how her tomatoes were. She replies, Oh, the tomatoes haven't changed,...but you should see my cucumbers! " ) That cracks me up every time! Now, where was I?

Puddin (one of the cats) decided she should help by jumping on my back and taking a nap. The chickens also all gathered round the garden. They have learned that I will throw any damaged ones to them. Apparently there weren't enough damaged ones.

One brave chicken decided to help herself to a bite of one right out of the pan. I don't think so, honey!

It's kind of ironic that I am worried about a frost or freeze, considering these are going in the freezer anyway! Works great. Just wash them, pick off the stem, and let them dry. Then I stick them in freezer bags and into the deep freeze they go.

To use, take as many as needed out of the bag, run them under warm water for a couple of seconds, and the skin slips right off. You wouldn't even need to do that if you don't mind the skins, but I've found that they can cause some digestive upset for Mom, so I always take them off. Anything for Mom, you know! Then just use them as you would in any recipe calling for canned tomatoes. You might want to check out the Farmgirl Fare link over there on the sidebar. She has some terrific tomato recipes. I think some may even be geared toward the frozen variety.


LostInCO said...

What an easy way to harvest the tomatoes, never knew you could freeze them whole like that. The garden joke was very funny! Hope the freeze waits a few more weeks.

Mary said...

This apartment-dwelling city gal is just drooling over all those homegrown tomatoes. Lovely!

cornbread hell said...

as our weather has changed due to the effects of the hurricanes and impending fall i've been wondering about what it was like up your way.

but i never dreamed of temps in the 30s. oh my.

and garden porn? oh my!

J said...

WOW! I now have tomatoe envy.
*snicker*snort* cute joke
Better get your flannel jammies or gown out for tonight.

Annie said...

Lostinco, the only drawback is that it does take up some freezer space.
Mary, I don't know how you do it. Do you at least have a balcony you could do some container gardening on?
Rick, has it cooled off to what, 80 down there now?
J, yep, got the long sleeves/long pants jammies out, no more shorts for me. And threw a quilt on the bed.