The Tomato Fairy Cometh…

This is what 15 pounds of tomatoes looks like.

And we have gotten 8 bowls like this… SO FAR.

That’s 120 pounds of tomatoes, my friends. And there are still MORE OUT THERE…

We have so many things with tomatoes so far.

Eaten them plain
Stewed Tomatoes
Spaghetti Sauce
Tomato Bread Bake
Dried Tomatoes
Gifted Them
Cream of Tomato Soup

I gave up canning them because I ran out of jars and it was getting pricey. And I learned that sometimes, tomatoes be a little iffy for canning via water bath. Next year I want to get a pressure canner, but this year, nope. So I started to freezer bag pack them. Which works really nicely, I might add. Each 15 pound bowl would net me about 3 to 4 quarts of sauce.

We have a lot of pasta sauce for the winter, for sure.

I made a lot of my own stewed tomato recipe. Basically, you just chop up a bunch of tomatoes, which I did take the time to peel, just because. And throw them in a pot. And chop as much onion and green pepper as you like. And then add some fresh pressed garlic, again, as much as you like. I added a few good pinches of coarse salt, some pepper, a little mesquite garlic powder and let it cook about 5 – 10 minutes, then cool in the freezer for a few minutes to stop the cooking. Then bag and freeze it.

Pretty simple. I didn’t over season it, just a little to blend with the tomatoes. I figure I will use these for soups and for chilli. Maybe even with a pot roast or chicken. I will adjust the seasonings for the final product. Just super simple.

I do have a handy tip that I figure out with the Seal-A-Meal sealer… which I ADORE… (it’s very funny to put a little stuffed animal in a bag and seal it…. do it, it’s real funny…. hahahahaha)

Anyway, I digress. Here’s a handy tip when you are sealing liquids in a bag and you don’t want to use a huge bag and waste a lot of it. (Because if you lay it flat on the table, it’s really messy.

Set the sealer near the edge of a lower table. Place your knee right under it. And then the bag can hang over the side, and rest on your knee before you seal it. You don’t get all the juice mess and it seals right up fast, so you don’t have to balance it for but a moment or two. REALLY sped things up for us, not having to dump the little sealer tray out and all, and wasting yummy ‘mater juices or sauce!

I think we have at LEAST 25 quarts of sauce and stewed tomato products… And more of salsa and ketchup…

I did invest in a stick blender… or sometimes called an immersion blender. Got a great deal on one through Ebay, $17 and it included shipping. You just can’t beat this little thing, it’s awesome. (Makes great ice cream shakes too!)

Here’s the before picture… some spaghetti sauce, ready to be blended after simmering for a few hours.

And after???? Wow… It’s fast, and super easy to wash up, and small to store. I can’t think of a good reason not to have one of these in your home. If you want to make puree of ANYTHING, this baby can do it in a blink of an eye.

Here’s a great simple recipe that we made and I think we’ll do it again real soon. Even my picky anti-tomato eater children liked it.

We just call it Swiss Tomato Onion Bacon Bread.

We kind of like to tell it like it is around here at the Moby Estate.

Okay, take a roll of crescent rolls and unroll it like a sheet of dough. The whole thing. We kind of pinch the little seams together if they separate. Now I have seen fancy crescent roll dough without the cutting but well, that’s the fancy stuff and costs more, so we just go and pinch the seams together. I can’t understand why you’re paying for something that ain’t there and the ones with the cutouts, which in my mind is an extra step, is cheaper. Seems to me they should be cheaper, because it’s just dough, no cutting. But well, reason isn’t something that happens all the time in the whole supply and demand chain of merchandising.

Just saying.

Then spread a nice layer of mayo over the top. Not toooo much, but a good slathering.

Then you chop up as much onion as you like, kind of finely diced. And crumble up as much bacon as you want. Can’t have too much bacon I don’t think. And then either dice or slice up some fresh garden tomatoes and lay them over the onion and bacon. Don’t overlap them too much or it will get a little too juicy.

Then cover over the top with shredded Swiss cheese. I suppose you could use any sort of shredded cheese, but the swiss is really good. Treat yourself with the Swiss and I think you’ll agree, it’s some fancy good eats.

Cook in your oven at about 350 degrees for a good 20-30 minutes. Depending on how high and thick your layers are, you might have to cook a little longer, so that the dough part cooks. I lay a little piece of foil on the top to keep the cheese from burning, and then take it off when it’s about done to just lightly brown the top to perfection! Slice it up and serve warm. It’s super good.

Okay… now for my not so good recipe. Oven Dried Tomatoes

I decided to try and oven dry some tomatoes. I have SOOOO many, I figgered why not. Got a good looking recipe and set out to get it done. First you slice up the tomatoes, and add to a little salted water to draw out as much liquid as possible. Drain well, and then place in a well oiled pan. Drizzle a bit more olive oil all over the little dudes. Sprinkle a bit of coarse salt and some garlic and any other spice that really gets you. And pop in the oven at like 200 degrees for 127 hours.

Oh, laugh will you? I’m serious. The recipe said start at 200 degree and in a few hours they will start to get smaller and dry out. Okay. I checked them often. Nothing much. It was a little warm in there, so I know SOMETHING was going on. After 8 hours and very little progress, I turned it up to about 250-275. Hours and hours went by. 6 at least. I was near ready for bed. And very little progress. Hmm. Okay, I pushed it to about 300 and went to bed.

In the morning? STILL HARDLY NOTHING. Okay, fine. 350. (Mind you this has been about 24 hours now.) Finally some results. But still, it took at least 8 or 9 hours. It was almost dinner time. And I decided, these babies are done. Some of them got a little burnt, just a bit.

But that was okay, I was ready for my gourmet dried tomatoes. I had visions of them gently tossed in hot garlicy pasta or being ground into some swanky dipping sauce… I could hardly wait to pop one of those little things in my mouth. And I did and they were DREADFUL!!!! HAHAHAHA…. Oh gosh, soury and just so ah, blah, intense, weird, not right. So I threw the dang panful in the trash.

I was sad.

After all I had 123 more pounds of tomatoes to find something to do with them… I had pictured giving little pretty jars of Moby dried tomatoes in rosemary oil or something fuu-fuu like and it was all dashed to YUCKINESS….

Of course, then at practice, I was talking with Rob and told him my dreadful story and he starts laughing at me (in a nice way because Rob is nice) and says, “Sherri, they are supposed to be sorta intense and tart tasting, that’s what happens when they dry up like that.”

Oh. Well, I didn’t like them. Not at all. They were just toooo toooooooo fancy for me I guess. Blah! HAHAHA…

I don’t think I’ll try them again anytime soon. I don’t think I need anything so fancy that I have waste 30 hours of oven time electricity for a little tray of icky fancy things. If I want that, I go get some snails or something like that. (Which I’m not really into either… eeeewwwwwwww….)

That’s the tomato report so far…. More to come, I’m sure!!!

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About Mobymom

the banjo player for Deepwater Bluegrass, and the editor of as well as the main graphic designer of the Westvon Publishing empire. She is a renaissance woman of many talents and has two lovely daughters and a rehab mobile home homestead to raise.


The Tomato Fairy Cometh… — 1 Comment

  1. Sherri – your tomato crop looks fabulous. I’m with your daughters, I don’t like fresh tomatoes at all. But, I love everything that tomatoes are an ingredient – tomato juice, ketchup, sauces, even stewed tomatoes – weird, I know. It’s a texture issue. My husband found me some more pickling cucumbers at Monnettes’s so I plan to make another batch of kosher dill spears using a different recipe. I’m off to find fresh dill this morning. Enjoy your harvest!