Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Tomato Tip

The following entry is from my adorable hubby. He's really the cook in the family. Enjoy!

The last tomatoes of the season sit on my kitchen windowsill. The sun has ripened them to near perfection. They’ll be just right by Saturday, when I’ll put them up for the winter.

I tried for years to store fresh tomatoes by following the standard recipe for freezing tomatoes: clean them, peel them (optional), quarter them, (add garlic and other seasoning, if desired) and simmer them with a little water until reduced by about half. Then freeze them in Tupperware or plastic bags.

I followed the simple directions, and was happy with initial outcome. The simple reduction was fresh and tasty when it came out of the pot. But come winter, when I pulled out a container to add a splash of summer to a meal, I found the tomatoes covered in frost and freezer-burned.

Then a friend gave me a simple tip that lets me keep fresh tomatoes year round. All you to do, I learned, is make sure to fill the container ALL the way to the top, almost to overflowing. The key to freezing is to make sure to get ALL the air out of the container. That’s it. So simple, but it makes ALL the difference.Another great thing about freezing—and a reason to consider freezing throughout the summer months—is that you can use vegetables that you might hesitate to use in a salad or side dish because they’re bruised or checked. It’s a way to get great value from your garden or by purchasing the vegetables that grocers and farm stands often set aside on a discount shelf.