So pick them I did. Sadly, I lost 8 of them to the compost bin. We left them on the vine too long. I posed them for a lovely picture:
A huge haul of orange tomatoes.
Here's when the funny thing happened. I had a total brain fart. I got them inside and knew that I needed to deal with them ASAP. They were really ripe. I ran for a couple of my books. Do I can them whole? Do I make sauce? Do I attempt to use my pressure canner? Ack. What to do, what to do. After a few minutes I calmed down and decided to blanch them, peel them, run them through the mill and then Tim could make sauce when he got home from work.
I set up a nice little line in the kitchen. First I boiled them one or two at a time. Some of these tomatoes were bigger than my hand. I dropped them in then water for a minute until the skin started to crack:
Boiling for a minute.
I then fished them out of the hot water and plunged them into ice cold water. The skins for the most part just slid right off.
You can see the skins pulling away from the tomatoes.
The skins went to compost as did the cores. The tomatoes were so large that I had to cut them in quarters before I could run them through the mill.
Waiting to be quartered.
A very large pile of scraps to go out to compost.
Now the tomatoes are ready to be squished. I am pretty sure this is what a mill is, if not, I apologize. It's like a big mortar and pestle in that you squish the tomatoes and it separates the juice from the seeds.
A very large pile of peeled and quartered tomatoes.
The mill...I think. =)
I ended up with a very large pot of tomato juice. I called Tim at work and told him he was making sauce when he got home. He ran by the Farmer's Market and picked up some onions and garlic.
Big pot of juice waiting to be spiced up and cooked down.
So, Tim is home. He chopped up a bunch of garlic and onions and sauteed it in olive oil. He then dumped it all in with some oregano and it's currently reducing as I type. In the end, Tim is going to add some Parmesan cheese. We are going to fill up freezer bags and freeze the sauce. There was a lot of confusion (on my part) about if the orange tomatoes would have enough acid in them to use a water bath canner or if I had to use the much feared pressure canner. We are taking the easy way out (this time) and just freezing it.
We still have one more very large patch of tomatoes that need to be picked ASAP. I'm hoping that I can hold off until Saturday, but then again, I don't want to lose a bunch to compost. Tomorrow might be a repeat of today.
Well, I'm going to go enjoy some gluten free peanut butter brownies and finish my Dead Until Dark. Connor finished his first 39 Clues book last night and is bugging me to go get him the second book. It is gearing up to be a busy weekend. Have a great night everybody.