Saturday, September 10, 2011

You say tomato...

The harvest has begun! 

The September harvest I mean. Some things we have been harvesting all summer like Mixed Greens, New Zealand Spinach, Mint, Sage, Basil and Oregano. For some reason the oregano bush began attracting very large black flying bugs. I have no idea what they are or if they bite but they are HUGE and will let you know in no uncertain terms that you are too close to their oregano bush flowers. As a result, I am currently afraid to pick oregano.
I do plan on drying the herbs for use during the winter (as long as someone else - ie the hubby - cuts the oregano) and my friend Julie was kind enough to dehydrate the mint for us so we now have our own mint tea!

Cherry Tomato bounty
The new harvest is tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes. We have hundreds of Cherry Tomatoes. I collect about 30-40 every two-three days. We also have larger tomatoes ready to go as well as Brocolli, Tomatillos, a few Raspberries and various Squash. There are lots of mystery melon/squash/zucchini? flowers out there so we are expecting a bounty of something or other in October. Surprise! But right now, the harvesting focus is squarely on the tomatoes. We try to eat as many as we can, but geez, that's a lot of tomatoes. I have given bags of tomatoes to relatives, friends and neighbour's kids "Hey, kid! You like tomatoes?". I have dried at least 150 in the oven and have plans to cook and freeze more for sauce.

Drying the Cherry Tomatoes is super easy. Cut in half, place on pan facing up, sprinkle with salt and put it in the oven on 225 for 4-5 hours (sometimes more depending on how many you have). Then pop them in your mouth!! They are AMAZING. They taste like CANDY!! If you have any left over, store them in a sterilized sealed jar covered in olive oil in the fridge for up to 6 months.
Sliced on a baking sheet

Done! Delicious!

If I could get Liam to try one I'm sure he'd be addicted. Liam is currently in his 'plain food' phase, where sauces, spices and condiments are "YUCKY!!!!", so trying a dried tomato is like asking him to try to eat a bug. Not gonna happen, unless by accident.  I don't know what happened to this kid's taste buds. He used to eat curries with me! We used to go for Ethiopian food together! He loved flavours! His current list of favourite foods includes crackers, breads, pastas, crackers and...crackers. How he grows on that I have no idea, but he grew an inch this summer. I'm sure it's just a phase. Maybe his taste buds are growing? So, in the meantime, more candy tomatoes for me! And you! If you want me to make you some, please let me know! They are so amazing on their own or in salads, sauces and anywhere else you'd use a sundried tomato.

If you visit us in the next few weeks you WILL receive a bag of tomatoes to take home! If you would prefer them dried, please let me know the day before and I'd be sooooo happy to do it for you!

I'm seriously considering investing in a food dehydrator after this harvest season! My oven is always on!

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