The harvest of tomatoes is finally in full swing. I love seeing the bright red orbs waiting to be picked when I peer out the kitchen window. And it blesses my heart to see the look of satisfaction and contentment on the face of my nine-year-old as she strolls through the garden plucking the fruit from the vine. (She won’t eat them, but she sure loves growing and picking them.)
I have lost a chunk of my harvest to garden intruders. The chipmunks have had more than their fair share. The little rascals have eaten a significant portion of my large tomatoes! They only eat about a third of the tomato and leave the rest on the vine. I wish they would just eat a whole cherry tomato and leave the beefsteaks alone! I also have a four-foot
garden pest child that loves tomatoes. She is consuming them nearly as quickly as they are ripening. I shouldn’t complain, because she would choose to eat a tomato over a piece of candy. But, it has definitely made an impact on the amount I will be able to preserve for the winter.
Needless to say, I won’t have enough to do canning this year. So I will be limiting my preservation to freezing. Last year, I froze diced tomatoes. I loved pulling them from the freezer to use during those cold winter months when the tomatoes you purchase don’t taste like tomatoes at all.
Freezing diced tomatoes is a simple process. After washing and drying the tomatoes, simply dice them to the size you want and place them in snack or sandwich size zipper bags. (I put most in single-size servings and then use multiple packages if I need more.) Seal the bags and place them in quart or gallon sized freezer bags, seal the large bag, and place them in the freezer. (I found that after thawing, I needed to drain some liquid from the bag before using the tomatoes if I wanted to use them on salads or tacos, etc. I didn’t bother if I was using them for soup. Roma’s really freeze well because they don’t contain as much liquid to start with. I would also recommend using only the fleshy part of the tomato. You can clean the insides out and put it in a soup base.) Thaw by running the baggie under cool water. Don’t use the microwave.
Just think how wonderful those garden fresh tomatoes are going to taste on your tacos in January. Enjoy!