Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Dryads and Dried Tomatoes

What with the four million billion trillion extremely large harvest of tomatoes we've had this year, I've been experimenting with ways to preserve them. I've made salsa, with green peppers, chilies, lemon juice and cumin seeds. I've made spaghetti sauce, with celery, carrots, and onions. I've puréed them in the food processor and frozen them as is, as per Nicola's idea. I can't find the exact place where she mentions it, but the idea is that you freeze them "fresh," which makes a lot of sense to me. I've also chopped them up, roasted them with garlic and beaucoup de olive oil, then puréed the resulting mixture until extremely smooth and frozen it in bags, as per Jove's idea, well, when we managed to wrench ourselves away from the stuff with our spoons, that is.

And just when I'd gotten a little tired of freezing and canning and roasting and even giving them away, my eyes lit on the dehydrator. I usually use it to dry herbs quickly, or make fruit leather, but this time I thought a few dried tomatoes might be fun, so I started slicing and layering. And you know, they were. They were flavourful. Fruity, even. We ate a few trays worth, I stored a few jars, and I gave away a few jars.

I even convinced FDPG, aka She Who Hates All Things Tomato, to chew on one thoughtfully, all in the name of finishing her Food Power Badge for Brownies (whoever wrote "try something you haven't tried before" hadn't met the anti-Foodie that is FDPG, this girl is picky). But if there is one thing FDPG is, it's an enthusiastic Brownie ("Playful Dryads, Strong and True, Nature's friend in all we do" is sung around here daily). She wasn't quite as enamoured of the tomato as we were, but she finished it. She ate it in the name of Badge Honour. And she did it without retching. Or gagging. Now that, in the words of my friend Martha, is a Good Thing.
Here is a dish of dried Tigerellas. Click on this picture to see it in all its lovely redness. Aren't they reposing deliciously? Couldn't you see yourself chewing on a few?


Nicola said...

Mmmm, love dried tomatoes. A glut of fruit or veg certainly brings out the creativity, eh!

Vivian said...

Beautiful photo! Sheila, you and your family have the best food! This is making me hungry...must go search...