Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Dry Wit

During my "preserve tomatoes NOW" frenzy last month, I roasted pans and pans of tomatoes to put through the food mill and store in freezer bags.
Then I made a couple of batches of oven-dried tomatoes so we could have tomato chunks in our food this winter, not just sauce.
This was intentional:
I've got a bag of 'em in the freezer.
The mushroom guy at the Marin farmers market sells mushrooms in paper bags, and he told us to let them get a little shriveled for extra concentration. It works, as long as they stay dryish — no slippery mold allowed. So this was more-or-less intentional: But the past couple of days have been busy in a non-kitchen, non-patio sort of way, and this was not intentional:
(Click the picture for a really scary peek at inadvertent herb dehydration.) A healthy dose of water failed to return my oregano plant to health. So I did the sensible thing. I picked all the dried leaves off, and now I have enough "preserved summer oregano, vintage 2005" to get me through the winter.
PS: I'm also saving a few tomato leaves in the freezer. Chef Paul Bertolli says a leaf or two is a thrilling — and nontoxic — addition to tomato sauces; remove it after cooking, like a bay leaf. Save 'em if ya got 'em.


Alanna said...

It'll likely have to be next year unless you can still get tomatoes, but I really recommend Slow-Roasted Tomatoes
-- I did 15 batches! As good as they are, I figure that'll last til, um, January? Would love to know the technique on oven drying ... Alanna

cookiecrumb said...

Hi Alanna:
Yes, I think you outdid me.
I responded to your earlier comment on the link you so kindly provide here, at this post.
It's all about variations in timing and temperature, as noted in that article... I went for a teensy bit drier, not so very flexible, so I could persuade myself they'd preserve better... Dunno! :)

drbiggles said...

I'm not comfortable with the fact spring & summer have gone. I'm not ready for winter, even though we really don't have one around here. Even so, I'm fighting back. I'm going to plant flowers, herbs & keep all the doors and windows open for months. It's a commitment for the future!

cookiecrumb said...

Moi as well, Monsieur Biggles. As mrs D said over at BellyTimber, fall is her third favorite season. I can guess what her fourth favorite is.
One solution is -- pina coladas! C'mon over.

Greg said...

No slippery mold allowed at my house either!