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Friday, August 13, 2010

Tomato Tip

Last year Michael and I planted 16 tomato plants! Our house was overflowing with tomatoes and I LOVED IT. This year because we moved into the apartment and I was lazy, I never planted any tomatoes. I should have planned ahead and planted in pots. I really regretted this later, but was resigned to the fact that I would be buying all our tomatoes from the farmers market and grocery store this summer. To my surprise, our good friends Dave and Janis came to our rescue with THREE tomatoes plants! I was ecstatic. Each morning I really enjoy going out on the balcony,  watering my plants, and saying hello to my cute little green tomatoes.
This little guy keeps jumping up to our two story balcony and likes to hang out in my plants. He jumps at me almost every day, and scares me to death. Do you think he is going to injure my plants?
And now for the tomato tip:
With 16 tomato plants, we were constantly eating tomatoes. But, we always had enough left over that they would go bad, but not enough to really do something with like make tomato sauce or salsa. 

If you have that same problem, here is the solution! 
Simply take the excess tomatoes and freeze them! Here are the steps you will need to take:
Step 1: place them in boiling water for 30 seconds to loosen up the skin.
Step 2: take them out and put them in an ice bath, to stop the cooking process.
Step 3: The skins should just slide off, so slip off those skins.
Step 4: Chop, dice, cut, puree or whatever your plans are for the tomatoes.
Step 5: Place them in a freezer bag making sure you get out as much air as possible.
Step 6: Freeze

UPDATE: Maybelline, a faithful backyard farming reader, left a comment saying that you don't need to blanch and peel the tomatoes before freezing (even better, right?) Just run them under warm water and the skins should peel right off.

Keep accumulating and freezing tomatoes until you have enough to make your favorite salsa, tomato sauce, tomato paste, or any other recipe you need a lot of tomatoes for. You may want to write on the freezer bag how many cups of tomatoes are in there. It will make it easy to know when you have reached your goal.




1. That grasshopper will do damage. Squash her. No only will she destroy the leaves but she will chew on your fruit.
2. You do not need to blanche tomatoes before freezing. This is something other bloggers taught me this summer. Sweet! Simply rinse, dry and pop in the freezer on those racks. Once they are frozen, store them in a freezer bag. The skin peels right off under running warm water. This has saved me tons of time.

marisa said...

Thanks Maybelline, I will try and squash that grasshopper. And thanks for the additional tip on the tomatoes! Have you actually tried freezing them without taking the skins off yet? I just want to make sure that it really works before I do it.


Two of my freezers are stuffed with the harvest from this year. I have used the frozen babies and they peeled easily. No need for getting hot and sweaty with boiling water. This is really a fantastic find via blogging.

Kristina Seleshanko said...

It's true. You don't need to remove the skins or blanch tomatoes before freezing. Just put them on a baking sheet (I like to put parchment paper down first), pop in the freezer, freeze, then transfer to freezer bags or containers. The skins come off easily if you run the frozen tomatoes over warm water. You can even can the tomatoes after freezing them, which is REALLY handy if you are canning home grown tomatoes and don't have enough for a batch!

marisa said...

Boy am I glad that I left this tip, because you guys made my day with even better tips!!!

brookie said...

GREAT TIPS! I am just starting to get extra tomato's without enough to really have enough to can. How's the house hunt?

Kait Palmer said...

So glad I read this! I am definitely not a fan of tomatoes in things other than marinara or salsa, so when I get one or two at a time I feel so guilty for not wanting to eat it! (I know, I'm weird)
Anyone know what to do about blossoms dropping on my tomato plant? I've tried beating it but I still got nothin'...

Thanks again!