Tuesday, September 27, 2011

When Life Gives You Blemished Tomatoes...

Towards the end of the growing season, our tomatoes tend to "act up". Suddenly blossom end rot is an issue on two plants (I don't really feel that it is worth it to begin correcting it at this point), and all the rain we have been getting has caused many to split quite horridly (the water makes the fruit grow faster than the skin, causing the splits). One plant has already begun to wither, while others are putting out a TON of new fruit. I'm keeping a close eye on the weather, and hoping I won't be bringing home that many green tomatoes.
On Sunday I grabbed everything worth grabbing, including several "windfalls" (the wind did get a bit blustery Saturday night) and today I put them all to use.

You can see the split and "end rot" on several of these tomatoes.
It looks gross, I know, but it was still pretty firm. I just sliced the "bad" part off...
...and it's perfectly good to use!
A pot full of heirloom tomatoes, good and "bad".
Put it over medium heat and that's it! I let it simmer for about an hour. If I had had the foresight to pick some basil, I would have added that during the simmering, but that's all. You don't even need to add water! If there seems to be too little liquid at first, just smash the juice out of the tomatoes with the back of a spoon.
After they cooled off, I tossed them into the trusty food mill and started milling away. I used the wider sieve, so some seeds came through. Most of them, though, and all of the skins stay behind.
All that's left of the big pot of tomatoes after milling.
And pure tomato puree in the bowl.
I have three half pints in the freezer, tucked securely between the vodka and the ice, ready to use for soups or sauces. Two more are in the fridge to use this week. And none of those "rotten" tomatoes went to waste.

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