Summers Wild Weather – Tomato’s And Peppers! – What To Do Now?

Last week

I had 3 mornings in a row that set ‘New’ all time over night low temperatures. This week I’m back to our more normal 100 to 103+ degree daytime temperatures and heat index’s pushing as high as the 110 degree zone.

Gardens are really confused. They don’t know if they should be slowing down and getting ready for the first cool days of Fall or need to prepare for more Summer heat stress!

frozen-tomatos Holy Crap I’m up to my knees in garden fresh tomato’s and peppers. You can spend hours standing over a hot stove blanching, peeling and canning your excess tomato’s and pickling peppers or you can do it the cheap, fast easy way. Bag and freeze them.

Your biggest decision will be, how many tomato’s and peppers do you need in each freezer bag? Freezing tomato’s and sweet or hot peppers is a good choice. Frozen tomato’s and peppers work well in soups, stews, salsa or when making pasta sauce. Hint Blanching, roasting and peeling is not necessary if you are going to freeze them whole.

After thawing, tomato’s and pepper skins are easy to peel away ‘without’ first blanching them. After thawing, peel, chop dice or crush using them as you would fresh or canned produce.

Freezing whole vegetables will work well for almost any ‘whole’ un-blanched, un-peeled vegetable like summer squash, zucchini and small whole potato’s.

Many cole vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts as well as green beans, carrots, corn on the cob, sliced / diced potato’s will benefit from blanching and quick cooled on a bed of ice before being well dried for bagging and being frozen.

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13 responses to “Summers Wild Weather – Tomato’s And Peppers! – What To Do Now?

  1. Here in Wv, we have had nights into the upper 40F’s recently, when it should be 80+ at night. Our tomatoes are green, mostly. A neighbor said hers were getting blight because of the cold and wet weather. Hmmm. My wife froze tomatoes a few years ago because we were going on vacation. When she returned home, she did not need to par-boil them because the skins came right off. She thawed & canned them easily. Also, she stopped making tomato sause in summer, but just canned the tomatoes to reduce the heat in the house. In winter, when we want the heat, she fills the crock-pot and cooks the tomatoes to the desired thickness. Great smells of summer in January!
    Happy picking.
    Oscar

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    • Yuk … 40’s at night… There’s a lot of summer vegetables that do not do well when night time temperatures are dropping into the 40’s.
      Sounds like you have a good plan and system for dealing with excess tomato’s. I love the smell of the kitchen when cooking tomato sauce or a pot of pinto beans with a ham hock for flavoring simmering away.
      Happy gardening

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  2. Great info – thanks for sharing!
    I love to oven dry excess tomatoes: using the same method you describe in your comment. I then store them in a spiced olive oil jars (a bit of salt, pepper corns, basil, thyme, a dash of vinegar and so on). They make fantastic additions to pasta sauces or on sandwiches and keep in the fridge for a couple of months

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  3. I like to sauce my tomatoes and stack the pint containers in my freezer – it’s worth the extra time because you can get more in there. I’ve been doing it for so long I can actually clean up the mess within 15 minutes. My cheap little tomato press I bought online groans under the strain but it’s hanging in there.

    But, I think I’ll take your suggestion – it would be nice to have some whole tomatoes to put in sauce and stew. My friend says you get more in the bag if you cut off the stem end, which she says is bitter anyway.

    I don’t mind standing over my stove – it’s over 100 degrees here during the day. I hide in my little apartment during mid-day, watch old movies (today I’m watching Burt Reynolds in “White Lightening!”), make tomato sauce, scrub stuff, pay bills, write to the old folks, yak on my blog. The dogs lay down on the vinyl entryway and play dead. My husband comes in to say, “wow, it smells good in here!”

    Thanks for the tomato talk, hope all is absolutely OK! for you – JS

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    • Big Smile 🙂 Have you tried oven drying tomato’s before bagging and freezing? They will take up much less space and are excellent for tomato paste, soups, stews and pasta sauce’s or on top home made pizza’s.
      Set oven at lowest temperature (about 140 to 180 degrees,)
      Cut tomato’s in half place them cut side down on a large olive oil coated baking pan, When they dry and feel like a dried apricot, cool, bag and freeze.
      Hint: (Leave oven door slightly open to allow moist air to escape from your oven.)

      Happy gardening.

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  4. We are in the opposite hemisphere here in Australia but during the summer I have an excess of cherry tomatoes which grow wild on our property. I remove the stalks, rinse and freeze them. They are then used in casseroles and other meals through the year. When I have enough I use them to make tomato sauce (ketchup). I never worry about the skins – they are insignificant.

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    • Re Fairy Your not only in a different hemisphere I think it’s tomorrow morning there as well.

      No wild tomato’s growing here, but I treat frozen tomato’s much the same way you do. As is out of the freezer into my cook pot.

      Thanks for taking time to visit my humble little blog
      Happy and safe Winter and Spring time gardening

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  5. Thank you!!! This post came at the perfect time — as my tomatoes have just started to ripen. I had no idea that I could freeze my tomatoes whole. I’m far too lazy for canning!

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    • Re laneswift – Thanks for taking time to visit my tiny blog and for your kind comment(s)
      Your welcome and good luck on your new project
      Happy gardening

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  6. Frozen tomatoes are great to add to a soup. So easy.

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  7. If I ever attempt growing tomatoes again then I’ll remember this! 🙂 Probably a great way to keep them to make tomato sauce later too.

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  8. Good information. Thanks!

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