preserving more of my tomatoes

I know a few of my regular readers also follow some of my other blogs and if you are one of them, you might have noticed that I frequently jump subject from one to the other, as in, stuff about art might suddenly appears here or you get to read here about gardening instead of on tunnel time etc. I’ve decided to clean up my act a little bit for the main reason that I am finding it difficult to keep track of all the different posts especially when I end up looking for something in particular. So, in future I’ll keep the cooking entries on this blog only, I might even go so far into moving them all to this url when/if I get a quiet evening to take on such a tedious task.

But today’s post is about my tomatoes from the poly tunnel. I have eaten, cooked or frozen over 25 lb of home grown tomatoes over the last couple of months and am running out of ideas of how to preserve them for the winter. I spoke to a friend down at our local farmers market and she gave me the idea of making some sun-dried tomatoes. So that’s what I did. But you need to be aware that we live in Ireland, in the sunny south east yes, but it’s still Ireland, so there isn’t a hope to actually sun dry them unless I was to build some kind of a drying box thingy-me-jig. The next best thing (though rather expensive) is using the oven at an extremely low temperature for a rather long time (12 hrs no less).

I had a two varieties to choose from , harz feuer and cherry tomatoes, I picked them both! And I had to because by the time i had then entire tray filled I was down to my last few red tomatoes. No worries, there are still a good few green ones left and there will be more to eat in salads etc.

I halved the washed tomatoes and placed them open side up onto a baking tray.

I sprinkled some dried basil onto the tomatoes (my friend Gwen said not to use fresh basil because it tends to go mouldy) before I put them into the oven which was set at 50˚C. And then I let them cook for something like 12-15 hrs. And when they were finished they looked like this:

Yummy! These are the bigger harz feuer, they’re scrumptious. And the different sized tomatoes make for two cooking varieties, semi-sun dried and sun dried. I jarred them in garlic infused olive oil.

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