Friday, August 24, 2012

My First Attempt at Preservation

Today was the day that I decided to do something about the following situation...
The bucket and the bag are each a day's worth of harvesting.  Aye...pardon the clutter on the table.  The kitchen table is also our catch all for crap because it is right by the door.  So it is half eating area and half debris gathering area.  I have tried to keep it clear and have little trays to organize everything but it just doesn't work so I give up and just pile stuff on!
That was what the bottom shelf of the fridge looked like.  I feel kind of bad because when I was researching storing and preserving tomatoes every source said not to put them in the refridgerator because they don't maintain their delicousness that way.  Oh well...I thought the ones I took out of there tasted fine.  There are also two containers full of cherry and grape tomatoes that you can't see in the picture. 
I decided that canning was not realistically going to happen this year.  I would probably have to do it by myself which would be almost impossible with Mr. Fussy Man around and all the serious warnings about sterilization and botoulism make me nervous.  Also, it would be an investement to buy all the jars and extras (all we have is the boiling pot). 
I did find, through internet research and others' experience, that you can freeze tomatoes in freezer bags either by freezing them whole and removing the skins before using them  or by removing the skins and seeds now and freezing them to use in chili or other recipes later.  I decided to get the major work done now. 
I was a bit intimidated by the process as I usually am by new kitchen related tasks but I decided to just get started this morning.  I boiled a big pot of water and prepared an ice bath for blanching the tomatoes to remove the skin, got out some freezer bags, and got everything arranged. 

Well, what do you was pretty easy!  Blanching is kind of fun.  It is satisfying to see how easily the skins peel off.  Squeezing out the seeds is kind of gross but not nearly as gross as most meat related food preparation.  I admit there is kind of a crime scene-esque feel to this photo but whatever...overall it was pretty easy.  I had to stop after doing about 15 tomatoes because my ice bath ice melted and we don't have an ice maker so I have to start again later when the new trays are frozen. 

Here is what I have done so far...certainly it was more work that buying a can of stewed tomatoes at the store but these are chemical and preservative free and organic and I have the satisfaction of doing it myself!  There will probalby be 20 bags like this by the time this tomato season is over. 
We also ate some delicious new potatoes last night...I love when they are so tiny! 

No comments: