Monday, August 29, 2011

The Summer of Tomatoes

This year's garden was really about experimentation.  It is my first garden at our new place.  It is also the first time I've kept a garden in Colorado.  The thing I wanted to experiment with most was tomatoes.

We use a lot of tomato sauce around here which means we have been sending a lot of metal cans to the recycling plant.

I had learned to can last year, so this year I wanted to try tomatoes.  I planted 9 roma tomato plants and 1 heirloom tomato plant.

I found a few resources and gave it a shot a couple weeks ago.  I just made the sauce and did not can it since it resulted in such a small amount.  It was pretty tasty though.

This time around I picked 11 lbs 5 ounces on Sunday and added that to the 4 lbs 6 ounces that we had left over from the previous couple of weeks.

I peeled the tomatoes by blanching in boiling water until the skins split then moving them to cold water.  I put all of the tomatoes to my stock pot.

It's a good thing I didn't have more tomatoes, I think this is the limit of my pot.  I boiled them down, smashing and stirring often.  :-)

Since these tomatoes were destined for canning jars, I tried to remove the seeds by pushing the sauce through a strainer.  It didn't work very well, so a food mill may be going on my To Acquire List.

I prepared the jars as recommended for water-bath canning, added the sauce and lemon juice and put the filled jars in the "canner."

The final result is 6 Pint-sized jars and a little extra that Hubba will be turning into delicious salsa.  :-)

We also enjoyed a Caprese Salad yesterday with the Heirloom Tomatoes, Homegrown Basil and Fresh Mozzarella.

I will have many more tomatoes over the coming weeks.  I'm thinking about drying some, but need to find out if the tomatoes should be peeled first.  I hope not.

Hubba thinks this whole tomato growing effort is funny because I'm not a huge fan of raw tomatoes.  But I am a huge fan of cooked tomato sauce... marinara sauce, salsa, enchilada sauce, tomato soup.  Yep, I'm a huge fan of all of those.  :-)


Voie de Vie said...

Those roma tomatoes looked yummy - and you will appreciate that great taste when the tomato season is long gone.

Alittlebitsheepish said...

The tomatoes look delicious, and all your plans for them sound heavenly, I love homegrown tomatoes