Thursday, August 7, 2008

Comfort Food on a Rainy Summer's Day

I was hoping to work on the new border today and perhaps even finish it. It's just the last 3 meters that have to be done. But no, it was raining again today, with thunder and lightning too, so working in the garden was out.
Just 3 more meters to go!
Thanks to all that sunshine and rain we've been having lately the new border grows away like there is no tomorrow.
And not just the new border, the tomatoes are doing fine too. This trug is what I harvested yesterday and as I was unable to work outside I decided to do some work inside.

It would have been great to sun dry part of the tomato harvest but as it was pouring with rain today that was out.
So oven dried tomatoes it had to be.
They are pretty easy to make; just slice small tomatoes in halves and big ones in quarters and remove the seeds.
Sprinkle a bit of sea salt on them and some freshly milled black pepper and bung in the preheated oven, at 100 C or F for 3 hours and leave the door ajar.
As I had so many tomatoes and love eating sun or oven dried ones I decided to make another batch. You can never have too many dried tomatoes! This time I jazzed the tomatoes up a bit with a mix of salt, garlic, marjoram and some olive oil.
Just fill the tomatoes with the stuff and bung in the oven and that's pretty much it. Once they are done (after 3 hours) let them cool, then put in a jar and add some more cloves of garlic, marjoram, salt and pepper, fill to the brim with olive oil, et voila, one jar of scrumptious oven dried tomatoes.
The seeds and pulp I had removed before I put the tomatoes in the oven did not go to waste. I decided to make a nice tomato sauce with it, which was also very easy to make.
Just put two finely chopped onions in a frying pan and fry them lightly in a bit of olive oil. Add 3 big diced tomatoes and the pulp,
some black pepper, salt, thyme, 2 bay leaves and some marjoram.
Let simmer for half an hour, take it off the heat, and let it cool. It's great to make pizza's with or as a sauce for pasta.
After I made the oven dried tomatoes and the tomato sauce there were still some tomatoes left so I thought I'd make some pesto and tomato salad. After I'd used these tomatoes my trug would be empty (hurray!) so off to the greenhouse I went to pick some basil for the pesto.
But that was not the only thing I picked, my trug is once again stuffed to the gills with tomatoes, back to square 1. Oh no, what on earth shall I do with those ones? And there is plenty more where they came from!
Perhaps some more oven dried tomatoes or when the sun shows its face I could even try drying them in the sun which takes about 2 days. For the time being I will just eat my lovely pesto tomatoes and gloat over the yummy tomato sauce.

copyright 2008 Y.E.W. Heuzen

I say tomahto, you say tomayto :-)


Birgit said...

So ist das mit dem Wetter, ich will seit 3 Tagen die Kletterpflanzen an den neuen Bogen setzen. Immer war es viel zu heiß und jetzt gewittert und regnet es.

Dein Tomatenrezept ist die ware Augenweide. Ich rieche förmlich das leckere Essen.

LG, Birgit

ladyluz said...

Those all look so yummy. I know what you mean about a glut of things - turn your back for a second and there are always more to pick. Our black figs are a bit like that at the moment and there are only just so many figs we can eat!

All the Spanish housewives round here make their own tomato frito and lay it down for the winter in kilner jars, cooked up the way you suggest.

easygardener said...

A glut of tomatoes is something I actually look forward too. They always make me think of summer.Unfortunately most of mine are still green.

Arija said...

Enchanted to find your wonderful blog and your description of childhood which completely mirror my own pre war ones in Latvia. Meadows are so sweet. I have trouble growing cornflowers here, they do not appreciate soil salinity or the lack of water, my meadow Marguerites are doing well and sometimes I get a few poppies as well.
p.s. I also glory in the ownership of one trog, they're hard to come by in Oz. and too plentiful a harest stresses me out so I give a lot to friends. Good luck with your last 3 meters.

Ewa said...

Yolanda, you came just in time with tomatoes drying, as I am learning how to do it. I started one batch few days ago, but since I have not removed the seeds, they are still not done, wrrr.
Your idea with adding some spices is great. Thank you.

Roses and stuff said...

That was a very inspiring and useful post, Yolanda, even if I don't have any tomatoes to harvest. But wait 'til next summer - your recipes will come in handy!

You must have tended to your vegetables with love!

Libbys Blog said...

If I have a glut, I shall defiantely try these recipies, thanks for sharing them with us!

Gail said...

Wonderful photos of delicious food...mouth watering food! Is it too early in the morning to have pesto? Somewhere it's noon!


Kim said...

I want to come to your house for lunch! Your tomatoes are lovely, and thank your for sharing drying instructions. I will have to give that a try.

Annie in Austin said...

You sure know what to do when the trug has a glut, Yolanda - too many tomatoes has not been a problem in the 9 years we've been in Austin, but one can dream! We're happy to have any at all for immediate use.

Have fun storing those packages of red & green summer away, handy for dispelling future cold weather.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Kerri said...

Hello Yolanda! What a handy lesson you've given us. I might try drying some of our tomatoes. The flavoured ones sound especially good. So far I've only picked a handful of grape tomatoes, but it shouldn't be long before we have the red beauties coming out our ears! We have plenty for the neighbours :)
Yum, your tomato sauce sounds good too.
I still say tomahto :)

Marian said...

Zo heeft een regenachtige dag toch ook zijn goeie kanten!
Met tomaten uit de supermarkt begin je niet aan zoiets, maar met die overheerlijke eigen kweek is het natuurlijk jammie jammie!
Een lekker licht tomatensoepje met verse kruiden (en een balletje haha) is ook lekker, een paar porties invriezen en van de winter zet je weer heel even deze zomer op tafel!

Lis said...

Danke für die leckeren Tomatenrezepte, da werde ich einiges davon mal ausprobieren.
Hier hat es gestern endlich mal geregnet, aber der Boden ist immer noch ziemlich trocken und ich muss immer noch mit der Giesskanne nachhelfen.

Schönes Wochenende

LG Lis

Wvolution - World said...

YumMmyYy!!! Tomato Dish... I must try it with some snacks!!!

Anonymous said...

Now there's a problem I wouldn't mind having! Your tomatoes look scrumptious, Yolanda. Thanks for the recipes, though. The tomato sauce sounds very flavorful.

shirl said...

Hi again Yolanda:-)

Great post! I am glad I have just eaten or I would be hungry reading this ;-D

Ah… the rain has moved into our garden too. What a shame you can’t get your new long border completed. I bet it is looking great – can’t wait to see more pics :-D

Summer was short and sweet here like my visits to the PC recently. Finally got my hedgehog videos and photos posted - it’s great to see it visiting again :-D

Enjoy the rest of your weekend :-D

Lori said...

My mouth waters every time you show the bounty from your potager, Yolanda! And I have to say that I'm enjoying the rain vicariously over here in Texas!

marl1 said...

Yammie, Yammie :-))
In de zon drogen.....optimist!

Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage said...

Yum! Lucky you! To have enough of a harvest leftover to "play". Hubby eats everything that grows in our garden and there's never any left to get creative. Guess I'll have to plant more next year. ;)


Frances, said...

Hi YE, I can always count on you for new ways to use up this produce. We have always roasted the patio tomatoes, cut in half, salt and pepper and sprinkle of olive oil. But the large ones with the innards scooped out for sauce, and even filled with luscious pesto, brilliant!

marga said...

Ziet er allemaal heerlijk uit Yolanda. Waar zo'n regenachtige dag dan al weer goed voor is.

Ps. Ja hoor, kom toch nog wel aan andere dingen toe!!!!!

Pam/Digging said...

Looks yummy. I'm glad the rain isn't getting you down. I'm trying not to let it get ME down, as I'd desperately love to have some of your surplus. Send it along when you're through with it, please.

The Garden Faerie said...

You can never go wrong with garlic!
~ Monica

Tracey said...

I have to try your oven roasted tomatoes. My husband dislikes them, but I think if I oven roast first, I can sneak the tomatoes past him. Lovely garden shots!

Betty said...

So good to visit with you and see these lovely tomato recipes...

We would love to have some of your rain....we are in a drought situation.....the gardens, lawns, everything is suffering....


Tracy said...

Love all the tasty tomato goodnes here, Yolanda! Out two tomato plants have not beeing doing terrific this year...but we do have a few fruits ripening--so can't wait for those! It's been raining off & on here too, and comfort food has definitely been on the menu! Happy Days ((HUGS))

Anonymous said...

Hi Yolanda,
I scrolled down your blog and I dare say I like it very much because :
1) You share your gardener and designer background (very instructive indeed)
2) You share your wonderful photos
2) You share your recipes (very mouth-watering !)
Being myself a gardener and a painter, I greatly appreciated it.
Take care
Hélène from France

Matron said...

For 6 Winter months here I was just aching to be able to taste my home grown tomatoes again. Now they are here, I am so happy. I might try drying some tomatoes in the way you demonstrate. At the moment I roast them with herbs and oil then puree them.

Naturegirl said...

Yolanda your oven dried tomatoes are very similar to what I do. I don't scoop out the centres but I place in the oven as you do at 200 degrees for about 3-4 hrs. depending on the size of tomatoe (I usually use plum tomatoes)
The tomatoe dehydrates leaving it to taste sweet as a candy...hence they are called "candied tomatoes!"
I place in a dish pour olve oil on top and add to dishes or just snack
on them.
P.S. So-o-o-o much rain here too!

Poppins said...

I also have a lot of tomatoes. Thank you for your ideas about how to use them.
Hope you still have a nice summer even though the autumn is coming. Today it is very windy and one om my tomato plant was laying on the ground.

guild-rez said...

Hello Yolanda
from painting to tomatoes, quite interesting and useful post.

Now to "Stinkdieren"...
The skunks diet consists of snails and other insects..I like them and we respect each other.
Maxi never got sprayed and he is aware of our garden residents.

Have a nice weekend,

emmat said...

Yolanda E, pleeeeeese will you enter the Emsworth Village Show with those tomatoes? They look AMAZING!

OsmoJoe said...

Oh wow...your tomatoes look so good and colorful! Lucky ;)