Thursday, July 19, 2012

Tomatoes (freezing and a salsa recipe)

July 14, 2012 053 My son loved that I asked him to pose to show how tall some of our tomato plants have grown.  (But he is so sweet that he complied with my crazy request {smile}).  These plants have gotten to be about 7 – 8 feet  tall!

Last year, it was cantaloupes.

This year, it is tomatoes.

We’ve had a great year for tomatoes in the garden!

Unfortunately when the first large batch of Roma tomatoes were ready and waiting to be made in to some yummy deliciousness, I was super sick.  I had the energy to pick them but no energy to do anything else.  And it was vacation Bible school week…and I was teaching music (with laryngitis!). 

My Mom told me that I could freeze them until I was ready to process them.  So I gave  her advice a try. 

And guess what?

It worked! 

June 29, 2012 015

Freezing Tomatoes

  • Wash tomatoes and allow to dry thoroughly.
  • Place tomatoes in freezer bags and freeze.
  • When ready to process the tomatoes, warm some water on the stove and fill the sink with cold water.
  • Drop the frozen tomatoes into the warm water (water was hot but not boiling) for about a minute.
  • Transfer the tomatoes from the warm water to the cold water.  The skins will slide right off!
  • Allow the tomatoes to drain in a colander.  (They will be very wet.)
  • Process the tomatoes as you had planned.  (We used ours for salsa.  The tomatoes will be very mushy after freezing so they need to be used for something like salsa or the sorts.)

(My friend Melissa at The Little Gray House blog freezes her diced tomatoes.  I want to try this with my current batch of tomatoes and wanted to pass on the link in case you didn’t want to can your tomatoes.  If you freeze per her directions, then skip my directions for freezing above.)

 June 24, 2011 054

Salsa recipe

We have two salsa recipes that we love.  One comes from this book (found on pages 12 & 13).  It is very summery and fresh tasting because it contains cilantro!  Love it!

Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving

But my kids’ favorite salsa recipe comes from a church cookbook.  This salsa is supposed to taste like a very famous Tex-Mex restaurant’s salsa.  I gave some to a friend who is a very big fan of said restaurant’s salsa.  She said that she loved it and her son said it was perfect

Famous Tex-Mex Restaurant’s Salsa Recipe

  • 8 1/2 cups chopped ripe tomatoes {I peeled and processed tomatoes in the blender so they wouldn’t be chunky}
  • 1/2 cup hot peppers (chopped) {I doubled our recipe so I did 1/2 cup hot peppers and 1/2 cup bell peppers}*
  • 3/4 cup white onions (chopped)
  • 1/8 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1 tsp. salt

Mix all ingredients and cook for about 1 hour.  Stir often.  Ladle hot salsa into hot pint jars, leaving 1/2 headspace.  Remove air bubbles with nonmetallic utensil.  Adjust headspace by adding more salsa as necessary.  Wipe rim of jar and threads with a clean, damp cloth.  Place lid on top of jar and place screw band on jar.  Process in hot water bath for 15 minutes.  When finished processing, turn off fire but leave jars in water for 5 more minutes.  Remove from water and leave undisturbed for 24 hours. 

* Remember that when canning salsa, your ratio of vegetables needs to stay the same.  The ratio of this recipe is 8 1/2 tomatoes to 1/2 cup hot peppers.  Since I doubled the recipe, the ratio was 17 cups of tomatoes to 1 cup of peppers.  This is important in order to maintain the proper acidity so that your food does not spoil.

Let me know if you try this recipe and what you think!  Or do you have a favorite salsa recipe?  Leave it in the comments or write about it on your blog and let us know!

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  1. SQUEEE!!! I want to try the salsa! Question: our cilantro went to seed (yay! coriander!!!!) so what leaves are left are useless? Do you know when to harvest the seeds? :) I think I need to replant........because I WANT TO MAKE SALSA!!!

  2. I haven't tried using the leaves after the cilantro plant starts bolting. I did harvest some seeds though. When the plant started to look dried out, I cut it and laid it in the sun to dry some more. Then I harvested the seeds. I'm not sure if that is the right way AT ALL. It very possibly is the most wrong way to do it. But it is what I did. :) I had to buy some cilantro from the store for our salsa. But cilantro in the salsa is YUM-O!

  3. can you believe that the summer after B and I got married, I spent 14 days in Costa Rice on a biology trip -- and DIDN'T LIKE CILANTRO! They put cilantro in EVERYTHING! ohhhh, to get a second chance.....

  4. I've just recently acquired a taste for cilantro. Not too long ago, I was not a fan - at all!


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