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Help! I’m drowning in tomatoes!
Anyone else have this problem? While we sing about the awesomeness of our gardens, sometimes they can get a little overwhelming when we have a bumper crop! Here are some GREAT ideas from around the web that can help you decide what to do with them.
This is how my grandma does it. I love to be around for her “canning sessions” in the summer and vow that this will be the year that I start canning. This post at The Creative Mom is the ultimate on canning your tomatoes. She uses amazing photos to show you step by step details. http://www.thecreativemom.com/how-to-bottle-tomatoes/
Frustrated with peeling them?
Here’s a great method for that! After all, who has loads and loads of time these days? http://www.nwedible.com/peel-tomatoes-fast/
If you want to can them in the diced form, it’s perfect for winter soups, chili and anything else you need diced tomatoes for! Here’s a great post on how to do this method! http://thriftyfrugalmom.com/how-to-can-diced-tomatoes-a-step-by-step-tutorial
Don’t want just canned tomatoes?
Tomato soup to the rescue….. http://yankeehomestead.com/home-canned-tomato-soup/
Does your family LOVE pizza as much as mine does? Ever thought about canning pizza sauce?
This is a great way to make homemade pizza more fresh even in the winter months. www.anoregoncottage.com/home-canned-pizza-sauce/
Cheese Dip, Anyone?
So, one of items that is ALWAYS on my grocery list is Rotel, or its generic version called diced tomatoes and green chilies. I use this in SOOO many recipes. Katie over at katiejgibson.blogspot.com has this DIY version that I cannot wait to try! http://katiejgibson.blogspot.com/2012/07/diy-rotel-recipe.html
This is the method I use. We have a deep freezer and I love having fresh tomatoes in the winter. There are SO many ways to freeze them. Here is the most basic method to use! http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2015/09/how-to-freeze-tomatoes.html
Freezer Salsa– Who doesn’t wish for fresh salsa in the winter? This will be just about as perfect!
Spaghetti sauce– (this one can also be frozen in freezer bags!)
Freezer tomato paste – I love tomato paste! This freezer tomato paste is guaranteed to make your dishes even more amazing! http://www.branappetit.com/2012/09/25/homemade-tomato-paste/
This is the whole point of having a garden, right?
My family will almost disown anyone who doesn’t enjoy a sliced fresh tomato with a little salt and pepper. I have watched my grandfather pick many a tomato, wipe it off on his shirt, and bite into like an apple. If eating them that fresh isn’t for you, or maybe even if it is, here are some other yummy ways to enjoy them now!
Pico de gallo– This one looks Oh, so yum! http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/pico_de_gallo_a/
Salsa– Another great salsa recipe! Instead of freezing this one, just eat it now! What better way to enjoy all the tomatoes?
Fresh tomato sandwich– Possibly the most perfect way to enjoy them. White bread, a little mayo, salt and pepper. Is your mouth watering yet?
BLT- the next best one to the fresh tomato sandwich. Bacon, lettuce, and a fresh tomato on bread. No further explanation needed!
Still too many to eat, can, or freeze? These last two will be perfect for you then!
Give Them Away
Food pantries, community organizations, summer lunch programs, and churches are always willing to accept fresh produce to give away to people in need. If you can’t find enough neighbors to give them away to, one of these groups is sure to take them off your hands. I know many people with gardens who give away more than half of their bounty, and love to do it. Check out this post to read about other awesome reasons to live in the country.
Roadside stands and farmer’s markets are just two ways to make money selling your fresh produce. Another way is to join a CSA. Here is what localharvest.org describes CSA:
“For over 25 years, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer.
Here are the basics: a farmer offers a certain number of “shares” to the public. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. Interested consumers purchase a share (aka a “membership” or a “subscription”) and in return receive a box (bag, basket) of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.”
If you’re interested in selling (or buying) through a CSA, check out www.localharvest.org to find the ones close by!