Thursday, August 27, 2009
Frugal Food: Home Grown Tomatoes
Home-grown tomatoes are the best! Unfortunately, our flower pots filled with tomato plants didn't produce very good. Seeing how this is our first year to plant a vegetable garden, and we haven't really harvested too much yet. (We planted in July!) Still, we have learned a lot. Our corn is about 6' tall and the tassels came out this week. Our green beans are very bushy and have small little flower buds. The yellow pepper plant has a pretty large "green" pepper. And last but not least the watermelon plants have sent out runners and we have small flowers. While we wait on our tiny little garden to produce it's bounty, we have been raiding my dad's garden. He planted tomatoes of all kinds, yellow summer squash, butternut squash and lots of fresh herbs. My daughter loves tomatoes. She could probably eat her weight in them if I let her. Earlier this week we pilfered some tomatoes from my dad's garden and brought them home to clean up. We are so grateful for his surplus, it really is nice to have fresh tomatoes rather than those sponge-y store bought ones :)
We always peel home grown tomatoes because the skin is tough. Start out by simmering water in a large pot. Using a sharp knife, mark an "X" on the bottom of the tomatoes and cut out the stem end. Drop the tomatoes into the simmering water for about 1 minute (the smaller the tomatoes, the less time you'll need to leave them in) and remove with tongs. The tomatoes swell up a little and the skin starts to peel up at the "X". Using the tongs (or you fingers if the tomato isn't too hot), peel off the skin all the way around. Put them in a storage container in the refrigerator for future use or freeze them in freezer storage baggies for soups and chili. We use the firm tomatoes for sandwiches.