Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Peeling Tomatoes and Steeping Tea

I typically look forward to the new season, but this solstice caught me still loving my summer and eating summer food.  So, yes, I was peeling tomatoes this week in my kitchen.

Someone's gotta fill Ben's shoes in the kitchen when he's away at school.
Actually, what happened was that the farmer offered me a bushel of tomatoes instead of the half-bushel I had ordered.  When I waffled, he laconically mentioned that he'd just throw them away otherwise because they were truly seconds tomatoes and wouldn't last much longer.  That, my friends, is my favorite reason for preserving food:  so it is not wasted in the horribly common way that we Westerners take our food for granted.  So yes, I took the entire bushel.  I had to buy more jars, push other things off my to-do list, and stick some tomatoes in the freezer.

There's the tip:  freeze whole tomatoes and then when you defrost them, you can pull the peels off with your fingers in the same manner as if you had blanched them. I set aside 5 pounds to make smoked tomato chutney once I had dealt with the really-almost-rotten tomatoes. 

And then I looked over at the stove and realized I had another tip to share.  I occasionally buy bunches of mint at market to make iced mint tea.  I keep the mint tied in a bunch, upside down in the hot water.  When it's done steeping, I pull out the bunch, squeezing the liquid out.  


Becky said...

I love freezing whole tomatoes when I'm just done with work of canning them.

Lana said...

Surely it was the shortest summer ever since it did not warm up until almost July! I am not ready for it to be over either.

jenny_o said...

That is a great tip about peeling frozen tomatoes (if only I could eat tomatoes)! But still ... some day I'll be able to pass this tip on to someone who does.

claire said...

Freezing bananas has a similar food preparation advantage: after thawing, just snip off an end and squeeze out the goop - no need to mash when making cakes or muffins. It's just a bit disgusting...
Thanks for the tomato tip!

Margo said...

claire, thanks for the banana tip. I do freeze bananas already, but I was peeling off the frozen peels with a paring knife. Next time I'll do it your way!


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