Thursday, August 15, 2013

Another Disillusion!

My hubby grows the tomatoes.  He has for years, even when we had a container garden, and he is expanding now to the raised bed.  He just does it better than me.  He started his tomato growing with the hot pepper growing and you guessed it he LOVES salsa.  I apparently have something known as a "girl" mouth and cannot take even a whiff of heat without complaining and my tongue will burn for hours after a trip to a Mexican food restaurant.  When the tomato harvest gets going he will make his salsa and then I get all the tomatoes that are leftover for eating, canning and cooking.  I have sauce to can on the stove currently and I have the dehydrator going with tomato wedges on it.  This last is the source of my latest disillusionment.

I thought to myself  "what other interesting thing can I do reasonably easily with tomatoes?"  Sun dried tomatoes popped into my head - I love these in a little olive oil on a flatbread with feta cheese, or on my fake pizzas with pesto sauce and -  well, you get the picture.  So I turned to my favorite cookbook - Google - looking for recipes for sun dried tomatoes and there it was.....The United States Department of Agriculture which is responsible for food safety and the nutritional labels and making sure that if it says sugar free it is sugar free, these same people do not require 'sun dried tomatoes' to be sun dried, they are dehydrated in huge plants!   I understand there are bugs and rain and such but really! They shouldn't be allowed to put pictures in my head of Italian hillsides and Mediterranean sunshine and rows of tomatoes slowly shriveling up while soaking up the....... it's just wrong somehow.  I should have known I suppose but I guess I thought that was why they were so expensive.  HA!  Now I feel even better about the little wedges in the dehydrator (just like the expensive store bought brand!)  slowly turning into 'sun dried' tomatoes - I did keep the dehydrator outside on the porch during the hottest part of the afternoon.  One more step in my ongoing war against processed foods!   Steps toward more honest eating!  (mildly dramatic yes?) I'm thinking I may just call them sun dried tomatoes so people won't be confused!  :) 
I will post pics when they are done as well - so far this is really easy, I left the skins on and cut into wedges, mostly romas but some of the slicers, squeezed out the extra juice - into the sauce pot - and put them on the trays about an inch or two apart.  This photo is at 7 hrs in.

My cousin sent me a photo of the weekend corn fest at my Aunts house, my Mom and Grandma went to help and between the weekend and yesterday they froze 201 quarts of sweet corn and gave away bags of ears to anyone who would take it!  They plant several rows of sweet corn since they have a large acreage that they have farmed for years - these days they rent out the arable land but still have a huge garden.  They really are very self sufficient with the deer and the turkeys on the place and several ponds they can fish from.
Lord willing Grandma will be 101 in September!

Cousin Kailey says even if you're 100 they still make you work here!

The camp stoves are set up for blanching and the boys just keep picking!

It looked and sounded like a good time was had by all and proved that anything goes quicker if you can laugh and visit!  I sure miss my Mom!


1 comment:

  1. Goodness me, your grandma is 100! Amazing! I think that people in the US have the preserving/canning thing down pat. We can grow food year round here in Australia so we don't really need to preserve food for the winter like it seems to be done in the US. I imagine that for your early pioneers it would have been an absolute necessity to be able to do that. It always impresses me.