They start out as little seeds, only a little bigger than the head of a pin.  We plant them down cellar, cold and damp, under the grow lights.  After a few weeks, we transplant them to bigger pots and bring them outside on the shady deck.  The plants are taken in, or covered with an old sheet, or left alone, depending on the weather.  Finally, they are planted deep in the turned-over, well-composted ground, caged, and mulched with straw.

Our 30 or so plants yielded over 4 bushels before succumbing to a cruel fungus.  When in season, I eat tomatoes with abandon, like apples only more so.  But there is no way we two gardeners, the favorite son,  and our friends can eat that many tomatoes.  So I put the rest up.

I’m lazy, so I do it the easy way.

Don’t peel them, just cut them up (skins, seeds, and all) and put aside the ugly bits.  Add about a teaspoon of salt, 1/4 cup sugar, and cook on low for hours (3 or 4?).  Stir in a can of organic tomato paste.

If there a big bits left, they will break down during cooling.

Since I mostly cook for only the favorite son and me, I like quart size freezer bags. We don’t like left overs much.

I expect to have 40 or so quarts.  During the non-gardening months, I will make sauce for noodles, chili, and lentils with tomatoes.  And I hope to discover new staple recipes.

My gardening partner keeps asking, “Will we have a garden next year, with the favorite son going off to college and all?”

I don’t know.

Probably, at least one more year.

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3 Responses to Toe-Mae-Toe

  1. My problem with leaving the skin on is that it’s tough stringy when I use the sauce, so I’ve been going through that whole labor-intesive thing of blanching, cooling, and squeezing. I take it, though, that your method does not leave bits of inedible peel?

    • patti says:

      Hey Karin! Maybe we just don’t notice? Or maybe because of the slow cooking, both before freezing and when using in recipes, they disappear? I’ll try to notice when I start using them and let you know.

  2. jo(e) says:

    I freeze tomatoes the same way. I mostly use them for soup, so I don’t really notice the skins once they’re mixed in with all the other veggies.

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