Thursday, August 14, 2014

Garden Nostalgia and Tomato Tips

When I’m not writing and reading about adventure, and trying to find little adventures of my own, I garden. Not like I did while growing up rural, but I am compelled to grow things nonetheless.  When I was young we grew enough for multiple families (though not officially, it just turned out that way), and then some. We ate vegetables in mass quantities during the summer, gave produce to family, friends, and co-workers, canned, froze, and stockpiled enough gunny sacks of potatoes in the well-pit to last all winter.

Now, my garden is only as big as I can carve out of my much more urban lifestyle. Despite its small size, my garden is mighty, and it brings me great enjoyment and satisfaction. It might sound silly to someone who hasn’t tried to garden, but fresh vegetables just taste better, last longer, definitely put a noticeable dent in the grocery bill, and instills a sense of confidence in knowing no fertilizers or pesticides are used.  So, with August well underway, I’m feeling a little nostalgic and already missing my mountains of tomatoes. Luckily they freeze well.

Tip: I freeze my tomatoes whole, without blanching. As needed, I take however many I need out of the freezer and rub gently under warm water and the skin peels right off. This method really cut the work of freezing tomatoes down to nothing over the years I spent blanching, peeling, dicing and freezing.

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