Too Many Tomatoes???

TOO MANY TOMAOTESYou seeded them, transplanted them watered and fertilized them and protected these little plants from frost and bugs, and now they have rewarded you with a plethora of their abundance. Yeah, now what are you going to do with them? Well my easiest and quickest solution is to just wash them and toss them into the freezer, delaying any other decision until there is time next winter. A quick rinse in hot tap water will loosen the skin from a frozen tomato so it can be popped into a pot of soup of stew, or a whole potful can be stewed or made into a sauce.

But, if you really want to deal with them right away consider making tomato paste. There are always newer ways to do old stuff and when they are easier so much the better. This way of making tomato paste from the excess tomatoes in the garden is a real improvement.

Wash and cook as many excess tomatoes as you have. The recipes for tomato paste will all say you should use Roma type tomatoes, but really, any ripe tomatoes will work. A bit of garlic improves anything tomato, so add a couple cloves of garlic to the cooking pot.

41BFTDTEArL._SX466_When the tomatoes are soft and mushy run the whole mess through a food mill. I use an old one called a chinois, but any one will do. If you don’t have a food mill and you are going to be doing a lot of food preservation, buy one. Otherwise you can use a food processor, but then you will have seeds in the puree. If you don’t have a food processor definitely BUY ONE.

slow dooker tomato pasteThe resulting, mostly seedless, tomato sludge can become any kind of tomato-based sauce or to save freezer or canning space make it into tomato paste. This is where the easy part comes in. Just put it into the largest slow cooker you have. Turn it on low. Leave the lid off and leave it overnight (or over day if you are paranoid about it). In about 8 hours it will have reduced to a thick paste you can freeze or can for use through the winter in recipes calling for tomato paste.

Oh yeah, don’t forget to season to taste with course pickling salt.

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