Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I have a petit garden at this home.   I  smooshed in {garden term meaning "put in another plant"} four tomato plants within ONE tall, square, wire cage.  Another plant, grape tomatoes, was placed a few feet away and then a pot of basil soaking up the sun.  Along side of that is a pepper plant with 3 peppers on it!

All of this is in a bed were I lost a small magnolia tree and a hydrangea bush last fall.  This is what I call my vegetable garden :)  It is in the sun and everything is loving the spot.  Oh I also have two self starter/volunteer  tomato plants along the back side of the bed... an heirloom variety.  Lovely.

We have enjoyed several meals with the tomatoes and basil but today came the day where I took the leap into preserving the small bounty with a  freezer method.

If you want to have bounty from your garden, farmers market or pick your own farms this winter then read on with my SOOO EASY technique!

From My Petit Garden :)

1. My tomatoes ~ washed, stems removed.
2. I made a small X at the top of the tomatoes with a small pairing knife. {this expedites skin removal}

Freezing Tomatoes

3. Place tomatoes in boiling water for 45 SECONDS.
4. Immediately remove, with slotted spoon or the like, to large bowl of ICE water.
5. Peel off skin and place in another bowl  ** remove any bruised or bad spots... I did not use any tomatoes with bad spots
6. I like the entire tomato so I do not remove seeds... but you can now squeeze out the seed if you like.

cooling down

7. Place in freezer bags.


NOW here comes the strange part! I almost did not do this but at the last minute
I decided to give it a try.

8. Place a straw in the Zip Lock FREEZER bag, seal except where the straw is.
Sip the air out of the bag with the straw!   Sip several times until the bag is well collapsed
then quick take out the straw as you are sipping out the air.  THIS WORKS!

A STRAW!!???

Notice the wonderful results! A fair amount of the air is now out of the bag.
nice seal!

9. Place in the coldest part of freezer to begin with.


I know I only have 4 small bags.. but I am still thrilled. You can also freeze tomatoes in a sauce form even with spices. I wanted all of my options opened so no spices for mine.

I am hoping to freeze many more of my tomatoes ... this was fun, easy and clean up was a breeze!

Mmmm, just think of taking one of these bags of treasure out of the freezer this winter
and simmering up a nice sauce, soup  or pot of chili.

Are you preparing any produce at your home for the winter?
Let us know what you are doing and any tips you have!

p.s.  I will be back soon with pretty thinks to share


Natasha Burns said...

what a brilliant idea Mary! enjoy your summer bounty - nothing like the smell of fresh REAL tomatoes, and basil! just yesterday i was lamenting the fact that it is winter here, and that i had to BUY basil! ugh, it's awful basil available in winter... i love growing my own, the smells.... the taste... aaah! bring on summer!

Alison said...

Mary amazing what you can grow in a small garden bed. Our home is on a small block and the only free space where there is penty of sun is out in the front garden. I am trying to talk my husband into turning the grassed area into raised garden bedsd for vegetables and herbs. Winer here in Aistralia and Spring will come 1st September, can't wait for some warmer weather

Glenys said...

What a great idea. Wonder why I did not think of this way first. Lovely tomatoes too.

Blissitydoodah said...

Aren't you smart! They look tasty.

I hope you'll come over and make doll quilts with me :)

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Mary,

How lovely to have the wonderful tomatoes, to use over winter.
Such a fabulous idea and one my Mother used to always do, to preserve all the fruit and vegetables while they were plentiful.
I must do this myself.

Happy weekend

Stink Bone Jones said...

Thanks for sharing your wonderful method to preserving. I have to start a garden very soon for my boys but I always have a gazillion things to do.

Oh and my husband who is protestant and myself a Catholic, love Father Coropi!