40 pounds of tomatoes, temps in the 100s all week, and no AC at home. What should I do with them?

Got a little carried away at the U-pick this weekend. I've given several away to my friends, some are sun-drying, and I peeled/seeded 10 pounds for sauce in the crockpot. What else can I do that won't heat up my already steamy house? Thx!

  • Posted by: Jodydh
  • September 3, 2013


Nancy H. September 4, 2013
How about the freezer? I just put up 15 jars of tomato sauce and, weary of a steam-filled kitchen, I took the rest of them, rinsed them, dried them, cut out any bad spots, and filled gallon zip-lock bags--6 or 8 tomatoes to a bag, depending on their size. In winter, according to my crackerjack gardening friend Barbara Damrosch, you empty a bag into a colander in the sink first thing in the morning, leave them to drain all day, then in the evening pull away the skins, throw them in a pan with a little olive oil and maybe a garlic clove and voila--instant tomato sauce, tomato soup, tomato to mix in a meat loaf, whatever tickles your fancy.
Patti I. September 4, 2013
If you can just drop them in some boiling water for a few seconds so you can peal them, then fill quart bags and freeze them. Throw a couple of frozen tomatoes in a blender, add vodka and seasonings and blend for a delicious bloody mary!

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HalfPint September 3, 2013
You can donate them. AmpleHarvest.org can help you locate a local food pantry to donate any vegetables and fruit.
Jodydh September 3, 2013
An excellent idea--I have a class of hungry college students that I regularly donate my unwanted CSA produce to.
louisez September 3, 2013
If you can stand to use the stove, you might consider making ketchup or soup. Though there's a lot of chopping and the cooking can take some time, there's only occasional stirring -- and you can freeze them to enjoy your summer's bounty when summer is long gone.
David September 3, 2013
Do you have an outdoor grill? You can probably set it up in a fashion where you could stew or roast them on it. Wood smoke and tomatoes go great together and can provide something of an exotic treat...smoked tomato jam, chutney, smoked roasted tomatoes(but obviously you don't have to smoke them, just an option)
trampledbygeese September 3, 2013
Have you tried lactic fermenting them into tomato sauce or tomato balls?

In the book Keeping Food Fresh, it says you can make tomato balls by slicing the tomatoes in half, gently squeezing each one as you put it in a jar. Put the jar in the sun (don't put the lid on tight as it may explode. Better still use a cloth to cover it) until the tomatoes "begin to foam and smell a bit fermented." You strain off the seeds and skins, and put the remaining tomato guck in a clean, finely woven cloth. Hang the cloth until you get a paste dry enough to shape into balls. Shape into balls, then season them with salt (which also helps preserve them), and any herbs. place in a clean jar and cover with oil. Close the jar (but not super tight as it may still release gass over time, and keep some place cool - about 3 to 15 degrees C.

There are also some great recipes for fermented tomato sauce which I always find easier to make than the cooked sauce as it requires less attention and no need to can it with the pressure cooker. Also no heat needed, which is awesome when it's hot out.
Jodydh September 3, 2013
I'm intrigued, especially since some of them may already be on their way to fermented...thanks trampledbygeese!
Author Comment
Perfect time for Gazpacho!!!
em-i-lis September 3, 2013
do you have room in your freezer? if you can stand to stew them lightly, you can then freeze the whole mess of them!
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