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.

**

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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6 Comments

  1. Tammy McLeod said,

    October 7, 2010 at 6:07 am

    That first picture really does look like a gem. I love all tomatoes so this is extra appealing. I haven’t dehydrated them before but did just read another blogpost about slow cooking them.

    • Strix said,

      October 9, 2010 at 6:49 am

      Tammy, I’ve done them in the crockpot for a long time and you can do lots with that too. Tomatoes are so versatile!
      In the past, I tried to make tomato ice cream, but haven’t gotten that one right, ha ha.

  2. October 12, 2010 at 10:12 am

    Hello Strix!

    I found your site today while searching for a good tomato Campbell’s soup copycat recipe to base my ETL tomato soup attempts lol, off of. I am a nutritarian too and have been living the lifestyle for just a bit over a year. I’m also on DrF’s sites too, and was so thrilled to find out you are a nutritarian! It was such a pleasant shock to find you and your fabulous site here 😉 I don’t think I have ever “met” such a classy nutritarian to date! I JUST started my own site devoted to how we live as nutritarians, but haven’t gotten much up yet. Shame on me! I love your incredible wit and personable writing style. Such a gift! I cannot wait to try your soup recipe, AND that butterscotch pudding recipe too! I love how you are always seemingly thinking of others, especially with your posts about things people with children can make. I will gladly be your new parent-guinea pig! I have a two year old boy named Skye who loves my nutritarian foods, thank goodness, but eats SAD food too much to my concern. My Hubby is not a convert (yet hehe) so it is hard to try to keep Skye properly nourished and away from the toxic un-food (lol) with all the junk Hubby inevitably brings in the house. I can use all the help I can get, you BET when he is older he will know the truth about food and the lies our nation pushes on them in school about the food groups etc. My kid will be the one raising his hand to tell them they’re mistaken lol. As a kid, I remember them telling me cheeseburgers were nutritious because they had protein, cheese (healthy dairy!) and grains! The whole pyramid! LOL Eww. Shudder. Such confusion.

    Well, sorry I wrote a novel and also, I am sorry it wasn’t half as fun to read as the fabulous posts you seem to effortlessly pump out! I’ll be back, and nice to meet you!
    My name is Jemoiselle on the member’s only forums btw. I was also on diseaseprof as one of te interviewee’s. lol Search for “Jessica” on that one. You’ll find me! I can’t wait to figure out who you are over there!

    Take care, and thanks for a great read!
    Jessie aka Jemoiselle

    • Strix said,

      October 12, 2010 at 1:52 pm

      Hey there! Thanks for writing. And thanks for all the compliments, wow, do I deserve it?!?! haha. Never mind, I’ll take ’em! 😀

      I do feel for mothers (in general!! and daddies too), but especially with junk just EVERYwhere. I mean it’s frightening! One doesn’t have to be educated in the nutrient arts, ala Dr. F. 😉 to know it; It’s been getting worse and worse, faster and faster since I was a child.

      Speaking of hamburgers, do you remember when Reagan accepted ketchup to be classified as a “vegetable” for school children’s lunches??!
      I”m still a member of the site and have over a thousand posts (!); but I don’t post so much any longer. I’ll private-message you next time I get over there 🙂

  3. Vicky Johnson said,

    July 15, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    I have an ample amount of yellow summer sweet tomatoes and they taste really good. This is the first year I planted them and did that by mistake. Was wondering if you can make tomato juice out of them?
    Would love to hear some feed back. I will plant them next year but not as many they produce allot of tomatoes.

    • Strix said,

      November 12, 2017 at 1:02 am

      what a great mistake to make! Yes, you can juice them. You’ll have to see which method you like. You’ll get different results with each version. It’ll all taste good in the end, though! :^)

      Thanks for stopping by!


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