Tuesday, August 16, 2011

a little tomato carnage

I finally did it. I used my own tomatoes in a recipe that called for "canned tomatoes." Don't ask where I had the energy to do this the other day, but I suspect that it had to do with the cooler, rainy weather. What nice thing it is to spend a rainy day making a quintuple batch of our favorite Beet Soup for freezing when my wonderful husband is around to keep the little one out of the kitchen. I froze 5 dinners worth of soup... the best kind of soup. There are many veggies in this soup, and nearly all of them were naturally grown in lovely Connecticut.
-Tomatoes from our yard
-Cabbage from our CSA
-Carrots and Beets from Shundahai and Tabacco Road Farms
-Onions from Tabacco Road
Next time, maybe we'll also have potatoes and celery from local farms, but as for now I'm pretty happy.

Now, Calamity Jane has a point, tomatoes frozen for a "later date" may never get the peeling, seeding and use that the good-intentioned freezer imagines. (And thanks for the shout out, Calamity Jane.) In this case, I did actually have to tap into my tomato stash in the freezer, because the 50 or so Juliette tomatoes we picked that morning didn't actually make the 5 cups of tomato puree I needed. I think that was the most shocking thing about this process--how many freaking tomatoes one needs in order to equal a modest amount of tomato pulp, or what-have-you. I mean, it's no wonder our tomato plants are over 7 feet tall and producing like crazy... they have to do so in order to earn their keep. An old Italian girl like me needs me a lot of tomatoes for the winter. More than I'll likely get from our patch this year.

Mind you, I actually find some pleasure in the dunking and peeling process. I remember writing a poem about it in my early grad school days... the visceral pleasure of peeling tomatoes. Again, it's one of those homemaking things that counts for a lot more than 5 cups of puree. It's just an interesting feeling to have tomato skins slip off in your hands, and even more fun to squeeze the seeds out. If I had been feeling patient, I would have called the little guy in from the sandbox to help, but the effort needed to coordinate boiling water, hot tomatoes, and a 2 year old seemed a bit excessive.

The color of the pulp was more pink than red, but the flavor was oh-so-tomato-y. It really changed the whole soup for the sweeter, the tangier, and the better.

Hurrah for nesting.

May my next post be about birthing.


1 comment:

  1. I'll bet your house smelled good. Mmmm. I remember doing all those tomatoes when you kids were little. I used an applesauce mill to get the seeds out. Would that help you? Or would you prefer the hand-squishing?