Tomatoes galore, oh my! What should you do with them?
Seth has been gardener extraordinaire this summer as I have been avoiding the heat while growing our baby girl.
Oven Roasted Tomato Sauce
In August, Seth picked our two biggest mixing bowls full of Roma, Beefsteak and Cherry tomatoes. At this point in time, we had the weekend and I felt comfortable doing a tomato sauce from roasted tomatoes that I learned from a friend of mine last summer. When he brought in the tomatoes, we cleaned them, letting them soak, then rinsed them to get any funkiness off. When we were done with that, we cut the tomatoes in half and quarters and placed them on a baking sheet with parchment paper on it. In addition to those tomatoes, we cut onion from the garden and some different peppers we were growing. We seasoned them on the sheet with olive oil, dried oregano, Paula Dean's house seasoning and garlic and onion powder. Then we placed the multiple trays of goodies into the oven for 35-50 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, until the tomatoes looked to be roasted. Once they came out of the oven and cooled down, we filled our NutriBullet (BEST. GIFT. EVER) with the goodies and blended them until smooth, using some on a pizza we made that night and some the next night in baked spaghetti. Then we put the rest in glass jars in the fridge. Please know this sauce was only good for 3-5 days in the fridge because we haven't adventured into the world of canning...yet. If you have extra I would recommend sticking it in the freezer so you can use it.
HOLY CHERRY TOMATOES!
Over Labor Day weekend we had some friends and family over for The Ohio State Buckeyes football game, where a friend of ours picked a ton of tomatoes and said there were more out there to be picked. Well come to find out they were ALL cherry tomatoes when Seth and I picked them on Labor Day. We're talking a beach bag and my biggest mixing bowl full of cherry tomatoes. In my head I'm like, "What in the world are going to do with this insane amount of cherry tomatoes?!?" So, I went to my favorite app, Pinterest, and I searched to see if there were recipes with cherry tomatoes and how to cook them. While researching I saw the typical blanche/peel the tomato and cook on low simmering for hours, but this was not enticing to Seth or I due to the 90 degree day we had picked and the possibility of heating the house even more. Since we'd done the oven roasted a couple weeks before, we wanted to do something different and we'd been wanting to get more use out of our crock pots, so we decided to try them in the crock pots. We prepped these tomatoes the same way we did the other batch; wash, rinse, pluck the stem and cut. Then we added some garlic we had cut up, onions, peppers and olive oil to the crock pots. Then we added the tomatoes. We realized soon that we were filling up the two crock pots faster then anticipated. With the crock pots full, we left the other tomatoes in a bowl, hoping to add them once some of the other tomatoes cooked down. We turned the crock pot on high for 3-5 hours (use your best judgement on the duration you think works for your crock pot). At about the 3 hour mark, we were able to add the remaining tomatoes to the crock pot. We then let them cook another two hours on high, then turned them to low before heading to bed. In the morning when Seth got up, he turned the crock pots off after giving them a good stir, and then let them cool down before placing them in the refrigerator to cool. After letting them sit in the fridge for 12-24 hours, we took the crock pots out and scooped small batches into the NutriBullet to blend and place in quart size bags for the freezer. Upon researching storage methods, the range seemed to be 3-4 months in the freezer for best flavor. However some sites say you can store it for up to one year in the freezer. I am not a professional at knowing these to be exact numbers; these are obtained from different things I have learned through Google, Pinterest and talking with people who have done something similar.
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