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tomatoe O.D.  RSS feed

 
Karl Teceno
Posts: 91
Location: Portland Maine
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I have way too many tomatoes that are starting to ripen. The plan was to make tomato sauce. Right now the ripening is sporadic but still more than my wife and I can eat. If I freeze the one or two at a time that are ripening until we get enough for a batch to can, would that work?

Thanks

Karl
 
Jami McBride
gardener
Posts: 1948
Location: PNW Oregon
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Freezing tomatoes for sauce will work great. 

When you thaw them they will be sitting in their own liquid which comes out of the tomato after freezing due to cell rupturing.  Pour off this liquid and use it for something else.  Make your sauce from the meat of the tomato and it will be thicker from the start saving you cooking time.

We also enjoy making salsa -as they ripen- just add the ingredients in layers until the jar is full, stir and then freezing it for use all winter long.  Add this to any other dish and the taste of fresh summer vegetables will really push the flavor - such a treat in the winter!
 
Karl Teceno
Posts: 91
Location: Portland Maine
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Thanks alot Jami!
 
Ken Peavey
steward
Posts: 2524
Location: FL
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Ever had fried green tomato?  Slice, dip in batter/breader, deep fry.  Flavor is similar to fried zuke.

Tomatoes will ripen faster in the presence of ethylene gas.  Apples give off ethylene gas.  Put the green tomatoes in a bag with an apple, store at room temperature for several days.  I would keep them on the vine as long as I could first.

If you are freezing the tomatoes, I recommend blanching them first.  Dip the fruit in boiling water for a minute.  The skins will shrivel, crack and slip off, but you won't be using that in your sauce.  The tomatoes will also pack together well, leaving little space for freezer burn.  When you have the volume and the time, make sauce.

If you get so darn many tomatoes you just dont know what to do, tomato paste is easy to make.  Blanch as you would for freezing, simmer for a while until the consistency is similar to sauce, run the stuff through a food mill to remove the seed, then keep on a very low simmer until the volume is reduced to about 1/3 of what you started with.  The objective is not to burn the batch.  At this point, moving to a low temp oven to continue to remove water content.  10# of tomatoes will yield about 1# paste.  Store paste in freezer or can with a water bath if you can keep yourself from eating the paste first.


 
Karl Teceno
Posts: 91
Location: Portland Maine
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Thanks Ken... great information!!
 
Joel Hollingsworth
pollinator
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
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Another option is to smoke and dry them.

Dry, smoked tomatoes plus fresh tomatoes should be a tasty sauce, with less fuel used.
 
                                    
Posts: 28
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Karl,
Freezing is a great time saver.  A few points to remember:  Core them and remove any bad spots before freezing.  No need to blanch or skin them before freezing.  Simply freeze whole on a cookie sheet and toss in a plastic walmart bag until you have enough for a batch.  Then; get them out, toss them in  sinkfull of hot water.  In a few mins. you can simply slip the skins right off !  NO SCALDING WATER !  Then if you want you can start cooking them right away; or let them thaw in a pan and drain the watery juice off as they thaw out more before cooking.
 
Moody Vaden
Posts: 55
Location: Maryland
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madamspinner wrote:
Karl,
Freezing is a great time saver.   A few points to remember:  Core them and remove any bad spots before freezing.  No need to blanch or skin them before freezing.  Simply freeze whole on a cookie sheet and toss in a plastic walmart bag until you have enough for a batch.  Then; get them out, toss them in  sinkfull of hot water.  In a few mins. you can simply slip the skins right off !  NO SCALDING WATER !  Then if you want you can start cooking them right away; or let them thaw in a pan and drain the watery juice off as they thaw out more before cooking.


I too have stopping blanching my freezer tomatoes for the past 3 years.  Makes freezing even more speedy. Just wash, core and bag.  I mostly use in soups and stews, so I dump them in and the skins float to the top, skim if you want to, but I like the skins.
 
Rob Sigg
Posts: 715
Location: PA-Zone 6
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@ Jami...

Im curious how you process them. We have an attachment for the mixer that basically spits out the liquid and then takes the separated pulp to a different container. We have been cooking down the liquid to make the sauce and composting the skin, veins etc. Are you doing something different than this?
 
                            
Posts: 158
Location: Abilene, KS
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I tried freezing tomatoes whole and thought they were nasty tasting after they thawed.  And pouring off the watery tomato juice - well, the whole deal was less than desirable. BUT that was after they had been bagged for a few months in the freezer.
I think I'll try this freezer method to get the skins off instead of blanching, wow, sounds so much easier.
 
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