Thursday, July 13, 2017

Battle Tactics Against Tomato Invasion

We're being assaulted by our tomato beds. Adam has trimmed (hacked back) the plants, and we've cleaned out the beds. They looked like this (well, worse):
 Now they look like this:
(The biggest problem with our beds this year is we put one rope for each plant, when we needed about 4 per plant. Many vines were on the ground.)
They should recover and keep bearing. Quite a few plants were pulled out for disease.

We're getting some nice whoppers; this one's a Brandywine. And I took a pretty platter to church for my personal Adopt-Some-Tomatoes program! Still, we have platters of them on our table at all times.
We had twice that many yesterday. How many tomatoes can one person eat?
This morning I rolled up my farmwife sleeves and took matters in hand. I found an online recipe for tomato paste that appealed to my personal brand of laziness. I loathe blanching/peeling/seeding tomatoes. I simply won't do it, bleh! And when hundreds of them are little tomatoes? No way! Here's the recipe that inspired me:
Easy Crockpot Tomato Paste
The tomatoes are oven roasted with garlic and olive oil. They are put through a food mill to remove skins and seeds. They are cooked in a crockpot. This all makes for less work for little ol' me!
 Cleaned yellow tomatoes cooked on 400 degrees for an hour.
 Take them out and put in a tray of red tomatoes, although I'll just process them all together.
I ran the roasted tomatoes and garlic through my cone food mill.

This method is fast, and it removes all the skin and seeds, allowing the juice and pulp of the tomatoes (or any fruit) to pass through. Turn the wooden cone and press firmly until all that's left is dry skin/seeds. It gave a lovely, creamy sauce in the bowl below:
 I did the same with the red tomatoes. I put all the sauce into my crockpot before lunch yesterday and cooked it on high All Day Long, uncovered, stirring it about every hour. At bedtime I turned it to low. I woke at 4:00 and turned it to warm and put the cover on. At 7:00 this morning:
 A thick, rich, pure tomato paste. All those tomatoes reduced into this single quart-sized ziploc bag!
My idea is to keep the paste frozen in the bag until I need some. I'll open the bag, scrape out some with a spoon, and return it to the freezer. I could have canned it also, but even a half-pint jar, when opened, is a lot of paste, and I didn't want it to go bad in the frig after I'd used only a tablespoon of it. We'll see how this works. Regardless ... I'm so happy to have turned SO many tomatoes into one quart baggie! The score this morning? MK: 1, Tomatoes: 0


  1. It looks like a pretty overwhelming crop! Ya done good!

  2. You're the winner!! Neither of my cherry tomato plants is very productive - at least yet. But several times in the past I have had your problem, and this is a great solution.


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