Just Like Candy…

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Maybe shoulda put this one as a What Is It? ha? 🙂  Looks kinda…Autumnalish… pumpkiny even!

Hmmm…look at that color!

Well, I’ll tell ya, this is serious dried fruit. Did you guess it? Yeppers those are TOMATOES!

Don’t know ’bout where Y’All are from,  but Southern Cali Summer Sweet Tomatoes (yes, they deserve the capitals!) are  bloody fantasmic.

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Oh, yes, I kid you not. I’ve had sweet tomatoes sweeter than cherries, yep, I said that. If you never have, well, then there’s nothing to do but get yerself to SoCal or go get some sweetness from these   Southern Cali nightshades.

Now, you are asking: Why on Pluto would one dry these if so awesome?! Good question; I’d ask the same thing. Firstly, when you get loads, like I do, you want to have that goodness last as long as you can; dehydrating the excess is a great way to do this. Secondly, well, sadly — kinda — we’ve had the mildest summer I can ever recall (as I write this we’re now in the throes of the one of the hottest, record-breaking heatwaves ever reported...figures! .) In fact, our weather has changed dramatically over my lifetime (don’t ask) . Anyway, before I go off topic, the reality is that this year, the sweet tomatoes —  number one, arrived VERY late; and, two, they have been less than their usual stellar selves 😦  BUT…

they ARE summer sweet tomatoes!! so they are utterly delicious; it’s just that they aren’t cherry-peach–OMG-these-are like-grapes-I’m-gonna-pee sweet… like I expect come August. Hmph.

So, while these are sweet and  delicious to eat straight — by anyone’s standards — which is how I eat them, they are also perfect for drying. Why? ‘Cause no matter what kind of tommy you get, even if not what you wanted or needed for a dish, you can always use your handy-dandy dehydrator to transform them into dried goodness…

…I promise you, you WILL use them: Soups; dressings, sauces; veggie mixtures; blended smoothies; to make your own ketchup; make your own tomato paste (better than storebought, I tell ya); the best “pasta” sauce ever…  salads…on and on AND easy to store! some may birth savory, some medium-sweet, others sweet — come what may! But the umami in them all is sure to please 😀

Yea, they’ll take a long time to dry — do it overnight and it won’t seem so bad. However, depending on how many you do (and how good your dehydrator is – it can take 48 hours or just overnight. It will just depend.

Some of these regular ol’ sweet tomatoes are sweeter than raisins and are awesome in trail mixes, cereals, granola —  or better —NoGrainola 😀 They don’t taste “tomatoey”; they are a different thing altogether. They are a fruit, afterall!

The benefit of drying sweet tomatoes — and the great thing is that they don’t have to be THAT sweet to start — is that the sugars concentrate just like any other fruit; so your resultant product will be sweeter than it started, and is akin to a raisin. Now, if your sweet tomatoes are uber-sweet, well, you may just lapse into a comato 😉  Personally, I can’t  bring myself to dehydrate the bursting-with-juice-running-down-your-chin, sweet-as-syrup – but-with-no-crash-nectar of lycopene-OMG-they’re-plumper-than-Lisa-Rinna’s-lips ones; they are just too good, and the season way too short to not eat them fresh. Nevuh the less!  These penultimate sweet tomatoes are fab for drying.

And, the goodness just keeps on comin’ — What’s awesome and different with these, is that the skin, as you can see…


is paper thin and  crispy! Yep. So when you bite into it, you get a crinkly crunch and then the raisin-like sweet chewy goodie inside. I’ve had a few that were actually totally crunchy. Fantastic.

Washing the Plethora  of Pleasurable Pops


The little green hats are cute and all, but a pain in the bud! So one way to facilitate their removal (and save water) is to bathe them. They clean and, as you see…

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…the little tops float to the surface. Now, most of these are already-loose tops, however, you are now in the perfect position to agitate the little jewels to clean them and have the tops come off with a little hand action ;). Most come off this way. Then you can just skim them off before you remove the tommies from the dirty bath water by scooping : Don’t pour them into a sieve; you’ll be pouring the dirt back on to them! (Same deal for cleaning greens/salad greens-you pour the dirt you just removed over them as it sunk to the bottom)

I wash mine right before using (or that day) to avoid having them rot from sittin’ in water. You can also towel dry them, or spread them out on towels and let them dry.

AND as always, never refrigerate tomatoes! Only time I ever fridge ’em is if they are too ripe and at risk of going bad, and I won’t be using right away.

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Now, to storage…

 


Well, I mentioned a bit about it, but what about those dreaded moths?! Seriously, they are annoying and they love to burrow amongst my precious cargo — how they dare! — and do who-knows-what? to my treasure. Only one, 100% way I’ve repelled them (’cause I try not to kill stuff):

How to Repel Those Suckers,  or…

A Little Bay Keeps the Moths Away…

NOW brand Bay essential oil – one of the more inexpensive, but, potent oils, good for this application. More often available in stores and vitamin shops


Bay essential oil. Now, bay leaves are great to keep moths out of your pantry, and I throw several leaves into my cupboards where I store dried goods which attract them such as beans (closets, linen/drawers;laundry rooms; and sewing/craft rooms are good places as well). My house used to be a Nightmare on Lepidoptera Street when I had lots of flours and grains. Since those are gone, I’ve been moth-free…for the most part; my sewing room is another story 😕

Back to the bay —

Bay leaves are okay, but not ideal and iffy; bay oil is stronger and really works. Here’s what I do:

First, I MUST remove any that are rotting, of course, but most importantly, ANY that have been broken in any way. Even a little slit is too much. Remove those first, and put those in the fridge and eat those soon.

See here: The rotting ones are obvious, but this one could easily get past you, but it should be removed from the group:

eat it sooner 😉

Feel around and if any are wet for whatever reason, but not broken, then remove those too, and either dry off or just set aside to dry or eat soon — just get them away from the others; you know the “one bad tomato spoils the whole bunch” thing.

Okay, then I put them in paper bags and…

…Simply drip a few drops onto the tops of the bag to keep the invaders out. Do not let it drip onto your sweet tomatoes! Just on the bag. (Oh, and never do I leave them in plastic bags! That’s just asking for it; the moisture condenses and creates an environment ripe for rot. Let ’em breathe.)

You should reapply when it no longer is fragrant or if, like it is right now here,  it’s very dry and hot weather/environment and evaporates the oil. I’m reapplying much more during these uber-hot days than normal mild SoCal weather. I don’t get new bags; I just reuse the same ones so that the fragrance is nice and strong.

Now, I happen to love the smell of bay; if  you don’t, it’s not that bad; get over it 😛

Now you’re asking — cuz I’m clairvoyant — “So are my $6-a-basket sweet tomatoes now going to taste like bay?!#! ” Mm, not really. I mean, the fragrance may be strong to you, and you may *think* it does; but it hasn’t penetrated the sweet tomatoes; it’s all in your head.

Not-ta moth in sight – Yay! Notta one! 100% effective; gone. Awesome. Don’t know where they went – probably plotting against me at some moth watering hole (or feastiing on my good yarns and fabrics!) — but they are cursing me, I know it. Curse away! For me and my summer Tommies, it’s bountiful bliss forev — well, for a season 🙂

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Since I have SO many sweet tomatoes I do it this way; however, a few drops on a cloth or on paper kept very near your moth-attracting produce will do. You can keep them in bowls — don’t cover — if brown paper bags lining your entryway ain’t your idea of accessorizing your home.

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So are YOU matomaniacal like me? Do you have a secret fruit fetish from which you deviated to dappling in sweet tommies? Do you suffer from lyco-pondria? Well, as I have confessed to being a mushroom head, a GREENS queen, a coco-nutter <- bigtime; a sprouting fool of course, an avocado aficionado, an Olive FrEak …  I am now revealing that I lapse into  tomatose on a regular basis — yep, I do — Oh, don’t worry, it’s all good: Dr. Fuhrman, even praises the plums!

Okay, I  was so seduced by these tantilizing tomatoey teases, that I went on a photo rampage.  Here, just for  you fellow tomato fiends to enjoy is a slideshow of their deliciousness on display — only fellow fiends will realize how this is NOT internet time wasting 😀 Watch and, between drools, let your mind dream up the tons of ways to tomatize your life!

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Now don’t tell me looking fresh, REAL food isn’t more pleasing than looking at dead, processed junk! Did your creative juices get flowing?

so that’s long, all right — Not as luscious, but here’s a short 4-minuter for those of you who don’t quite do crazy 😉

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So what do Y’All do with tomatoes?

Mmmmmmmmmm…don’t ya want some?

 

Oh, lordy lordy…

 

So…Don’t be jealous: Go get some!

Poxacuatl

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Running Tips…

Breathe: in through nose, out through the mouth (the entire run)

Abs *tight* (Yep, throughout the entire run)

Change gait

Concentrate, but be aware of surroundings

Consider fartleks

Eat well to run well

Supportive bra; exchanging on a regular basis (before becoming worn) — same for shoes

Consider body hugging undertops and shorts; never tight

Lace up firmly

Snug, good, comfy socks!

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Use the restroom right before you leave

ALWAYS – sunblock and sunscreen – rain or shine (don’t forget neck and  behind ears)

Give it all you got; don’t waste your time: This is it; this is where you get in shape — keep that in mind.

Mind the weather; dress accordingly

Good pair of running glasseswith UVA and UVB protection

Shoulders relaxed; arms up and in

When you see a loose dog, stop running and take it down to a walk, moving to the other side of street, if can; hopefully you can do this before it sees you. Avoid areas where loose dogs are encountered.

Don’t

Assume: Always assume you have not been seen, and run defensively. Mind driveways, blind corners, and intersections, again, you have not been seen, even if in full view, even if you have the “green light.”

Run against traffic when no sidewalks; better chance you will be seen though not a guarantee which segues to the next tip…

Make eye contact with motorists!

…Get a good night’s

Keep an ear out as well as an eye (or two 😉 ); use all your senses.

Mind various surfaces, and run accordingly, carefully maneuvering gravel, hidden holes, wet areas.

Stretch after your run

Carry identification; pepper spray; house and vehicle keys, and…

Do NOT forget…

..

…your phone!

If  “too tired,” remember that it is, indeed, rare  to ever regret having worked out 😉

Well Done! Give yourself some praise, you’re a star

Strix

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Eyesercise

Here, is an animation “how to” (is it just me or is it a little creepy?!)

I actually enjoy these type of exercises for how they make my eyes feel when I’m done. It’s like scratching an itch 😀

If the internet is any indication, benefiting from eye exercising is a “myth”: Page on eye myths; here is another debunking one with most of the same info. Not sure I’m on board with it all: Exercise for all body parts seems a no-brainer to me, but, what do I know? ;’)

However, this report claims that there is some benefit, even if exercise doesn’t “cure” or reverse any illness.

Ever heard of the pinhole glasses? No science behind those.

I don’t  likey conflicting info: It means I have to actually make a determination all on my own –imagine!! 😉

According to the debunkers, carrots don’t help eyes; However…


My BELOVED GREEN leafies do 😉 I’m shocked, right?

The wonderous watercress, a cruciferous kaleidescope of nutrients

(Is there anything green leafies can’t do?! Truly, the only real super food! Hip, hip, hooray for GREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEENS!!!)

OF COURSE nutrition is essential. I have found getting the healthy fats to be especially important. Currently, I’m consuming plant fat from land and the sea

One thing is for sure, resting the  eyes has real advantages. Ever just close your eyes for a few minutes? Or even 1 measly minute? Serious soothing, right? I don’t  need a report or evidence to establish it.

Personally, I think one can go too far with  needing “facts” for every thing. Some things are inexplicable, some things are “known” to us, based on intangibles. They are real, and, sometimes these often dismissed bits of knowledge are proved true…eventually. Not to say there is not foolery or quack claims out there (Wow, is there ever!) or misinterpretations; just that we can gauge what is “true” often on our own, based on our experiences. Not that that means it’s right, either, haha. Well, anyone git me? Am I ramblin’ again, or am I making sense to anyone out there?

If eyesercise is not for you, try closing your eyes during the day, you’ll see ;^) Rest is an essential part of health, afterall.

I do a lot of needle work, including hand sewing small items, and sharp eyes are essential. This type of activity, alone, may not be a “problem”; however, with computers, television, video games, movie theatres, etc., I think all of our eyes are under unusual amounts of strain. This bit of resting is really soothing and helps a lot.

My last eye check up was great again; I can only attribute this to the nutritionally excellent dietary protocol I live — Eat To Live.  The ophthalmologist told me, despite my insistence that I’m having some blurring, that my eyes are full-on healthy! She told me my blurring is from all the eye strain from all the detail type stuff I do, loads of reading, (plus computer, etc.); no surprise this blurring is prevalent at the end of the day.

One interesting thing she said, when I asked if I should get some  glasses for use when hand sewing, etc.: She said I could, if I wanted, but it’s unnecessary, and that the more I use the glasses, the more my eyes/vision become/s dependent on them. Hm..interesting, right? I was surprised at this; I thought that was one of those exaggerated claims made by those whacky raw foodists I hang with :D. She even said, I could just pick up a pair of those cheap grocery store glasses! Very strange.

Running sunglasses

Another mystifying claim she made was that one should not let ANY sunlight into the eyes. When I pressed her with specifics, she was adamant. I asked about indirect sunlight, which is good for the essential Vitamin D production as well as mood balancing.– nope, ANY sun into the eyes, direct or indirect is to be avoided at all costs. Vitamin D, she informed me, can very well be absorbed through the skin and through supplementaion, which, of course is fairly common knowledge. She went on to say that one must wear sunglasses whenever outside, rain or shine, bright or gray. Interesting. Perhaps it is because of today’s increasingly unhealthful atmosphere ??

I’m a little wary about the absolute nature of her cautions; I’ve been getting indirect sunlight into my eyes and direct onto my skin since directed by Dr. Fuhrman that, in small amounts, for appropriate times, that this is a healthful practice. Now I’m wonderin’! Maybe the sun isn’t the god it used to be.

Strix

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