Thursday, July 30, 2009

How To Preserve Home Grown Tomatoes

The tomatoes from my garden are doing very well, so I decided to pick some and take some to relatives and friends in Tennessee (July 24-26, 2009). But after returning home and checking the garden over, I noticed an abundance of vine ripe tomatoes. What am I going to do with all of these tomatoes? I remembered a time when I helped my grandmother Ruby do canning and freezing of her garden bounty, so I decided to do the same thing. I did not want to do any canning, so I decided to do it the easiest thing I could. Freeze them!!

First, I went to the garden and collected as many good vine ripe tomatoes that I could find. It was a lot.

Next, I washed and removed the vine/stems from the tomatoes.

Then, I boiled some water for blanching the tomatoes.

Blanch tomatoes for 3-5 minutes or less. I did not want these tomatoes to cook. The tomatoes should be firm and and not soft.

Place tomatoes in cool water before peeling. Do not try to peel tomatoes while hot, because it is almost next to impossible to do.

Peel tomatoes. The peel should glide off the tomatoes with no problem. If tomato is not cooked to death, then removing the skin should be simple. When I found peels hard to remove, I would pierce the tomato with a knife and I was good to go.

Core tomatoes and cut them up to your liking.

I am freezing these tomatoes, so I used freezer bags. Date and label freezer bags and pop them in the freezer.

The fresh garden taste should be preserved by freezing and Lord knows I love the taste of home grown fresh garden tomatoes. There are many ways to use these tomatoes. I plan to use them in salads, soups, sauces, and stir fries.

While I was moving the tomatoes from the garden to the freezer, I couldn't help but remember the time when I helped my grandmother do her canning. I use to hate it with a passion, but now I am thankful that I learned about gardening and harvesting from my grandmother Ruby. It really paid off!

Have a wonderful day!! :)