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Old 10-06-2014, 07:55 PM   #1
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Tomatoes out the ears!

This year, I planted my first garden. I had never grown anything before, but I learned a lot and I continue to learn as my garden continues to grow. I have a large amount of collards, kale, and tomatoes, but I'm stuck because I don't know what to do with them. A huge part of the harvest was given to my neighbor who cooks and cans for the locals. She's done and the pots are put away. Now, I have to figure out what to do with all that's left. Usually, I'll keep collards cooking in the crockpot because that's the only way I know to cook them. I don't know how to store the leafy greens, so I leave them on the stalk until I need them. I won't be able to do this much longer since it's getting cold here. My tomatoes are either rotting, fed to animals or dehydrated and chopped to dust. In my freezer, I have 5 bags of various small tomatoes, so I don't want to freeze anymore. In my kitchen, I have trays of cherry tomatoes and a half bucket of romas and enough gold medal tomatoes to fill a bread rack. My tomatoes aren't even done producing, there's twice as much on the vines and more varieties. I just don't know what to do with it all. I need recipes and storing suggestions. Any help and advice would be very much appreciated.

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Old 10-06-2014, 08:36 PM   #2
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Tomatoes out the ears!

Tomato sauce and juice will use up a lot, tomato soup base. Dehydrated tomatoes take up very little space. I'm making hotdog relish with my green tomatoes.

I have the same problem, only with apples! Good luck, and welcome to DC!
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Old 10-06-2014, 09:15 PM   #3
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Hi WiredEek and welcome to discuss cooking. Do you have a "food share" in your area? They'd be happy to get your last harvest. If not, do you have more that one neighbor? You could always make up some bags for them, and do the "ring and run" trick. It's kinda like a backwards pre Halloween "treat and trick".
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Old 10-06-2014, 10:17 PM   #4
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Tomatoes out the ears!

Yes, drive-by drop-offs. It's worked for me.
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Old 10-06-2014, 10:18 PM   #5
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Home made salsa freezes well. Simply blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for a few seconds to remove the skins. Dice, put in a pot, add fresh garlic, onion, peppers of choice, cilantro, and salt. Let it stew a bit, taste, and adjust flavors. Place in freezer safe containers and freeze.

Turn some into diced tomatoes to freeze. They aren't good for just munching, but will work great in any cooked recipe requiring tomatoes.

Ever make your own ketchup? There are a host of recipes on line.

Tomato basil soup is always a crowd pleaser.

Ok, the best soup/stew on the planet - Chili. Make it, freeze it, eat it.

Seeeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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Old 10-06-2014, 11:43 PM   #6
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keep them in a cool, dry place so they rot slowly.

halloween isn't too far off.

i have tips on how to make a can of shaving cream squirt 10 ft if anyone's interested.
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Old 10-07-2014, 02:02 AM   #7
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If you live on a busy-enough road, put a cart/wheelbarrow/little red wagon at the edge of your front yard with a sign that reads "Free Tomatoes". My street is tucked back into a residential neighborhood, but every time my neighbor does that when he has too many somethings everything is gone by dusk. Even the zucchini!

My Mom had a method of storing tomatoes, especially if they weren't ripe enough. Wrap each loosely in newspaper, then layer into a metal can. Start with the greenest on the bottom. Check each week, removing each tomato from its paper and then re-wrapping and returning to the can. We did this faithfully and sometimes had home-growns until Thanksgiving or so. Not like fresh off the vine in the summer good, but I remember them being better than grocery store ones.

One summer I didn't have time to do anything but uproot the plants and tie them to the ladder in the garage. I hung them upside-down and picked tomatoes until Halloween. We lived 20 miles south of Cleveland at the time.

Hope you're able to make use/give away out of most of them. If not, like buckytom said, Halloween isn't too far away.
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Old 10-07-2014, 02:30 AM   #8
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I had to laugh at this one. Once upon a time, many moons ago, I lived in Hawaii. The tomatoes tasted like ... nothing. I tried and tried. But they just didn't taste right. Then ... in the mail I got a tin of tomatoes from friends in Virginia. Illegal as all get-out. My husband made some fresh pasta, we invited friends over, and had a blast. They were yummy!
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Old 10-07-2014, 07:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckytom View Post
keep them in a cool, dry place so they rot slowly.

halloween isn't too far off.

i have tips on how to make a can of shaving cream squirt 10 ft if anyone's interested.
You and I need to talk. I haven't decided on what I'm going to do with the trick-or-treaters yet this year. I've hunted them with a nerf bow, caught them on my largest fishing pole with a bag of candy, and various other gags, including silly string after they received their candy. I need ideas, and quick. i know I'm off topic here, but times-a watin'.

Seeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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Old 10-07-2014, 12:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief Longwind Of The North View Post
Ever make your own ketchup? There are a host of recipes on line.

Tomato basil soup is always a crowd pleaser.

Ok, the best soup/stew on the planet - Chili. Make it, freeze it, eat it.

Seeeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
Tomato basil soup! Sounds great, but unfortunately, my basil got hit by frost. There's still a little green left underneath, but not much. I picked off the black leaves, dehydrated them and put them in a jar, but I haven't tasted it yet. I did get a trim to soak in water, hopefully, it'll sprout roots.
Chili is my 2nd favorite thing to cook and eat. Lasagna is the best. I normally just use a jar of sauce for lasagna, but I could add a layer of chopped tomatoes and make a sweet lasagna with kale instead of noodles.
I don't really like ketchup, but maybe other people will. I'll look up a recipe.
My mind is roaming a few different directions. I'd better get busy. Thank you all.
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