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Tomatoes from the Garden

Week 03

This week was all about tomatoes. They are ripening in the garden fairly regularly now. I can find at least a few to pick daily–sometimes a lot more than a few. Because I don’t have a ton all at once, I’ve been processing them in small batches.

I canned 5 half-pint jars of salsa. The pot I used for the water bath canner is actually an old-school (as I’m sure you can tell by the awesome brown paisley pattern) broccoli steamer that my Granny gave me. I love that thing. It’s a tall narrow pot which is unusual and therefore has many uses in my opinion. It’s great for boiling artichokes too.

I’ve also roasted quite a few of them in the oven. To prep the tomatoes, I cut them up and remove all the seeds into a fine-mesh strainer over a small mixing bowl. I then place them on a baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. I put the tomatoes close together and throw in a few cloves of unpeeled garlic (though I do remove the extra papery stuff). Next, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with sea-salt, coarse pepper, and dried basil.

For cherry tomatoes and small plum tomatoes, I cut them in half and squeeze out the guts. Then place them skin down on the pan. Roast at 300 degrees for 30 minutes and check them. Check every 15 minutes thereafter until done. It took about an hour.

For regular tomatoes, I either cut them in thick slices or in wedges. I roasted them at 350 degrees for 45 minutes and then checked every 15 minutes after that.

I used a spoon to stir the tomato guts in the strainer to get out all the juice. When the tomatoes were done, I added them back to the juice before blending.

Some of the oven roasted ones I’ve frozen whole, others I’ve pureed in the blender to make into a rich sauce and then frozen the sauce in cubes. And, of course, I’ve eaten quite a few fresh ones too as well as made them into fresh salsa for dinner.

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Tree Book Shelf

I love this tree bookshelf. It reminds me of the Giving Tree. Someday, I think I need this… when I’m rich and can afford to pay $850 for a bookshelf.

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