Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Basket Case

I started using this cute little basket to collect pears that had fallen from the tree overnight. I'd pick them up, a-tisket, a-tasket, and trot them over to a bunch of much larger baskets I was using to store the accumulated fruit, under a canopy on the patio.
Soon, the large baskets were completely filled. I rummaged in the garage for more baskets (these things seem to follow me from house to house, no matter how many I dump at Salvation Army). Successively smaller baskets were filled. Finally even this petite basket was stuffed with all the pears that would fit in it, and I had to tote the morning's pears in my uplifted T-shirt (me still wearing it, dig?) when I went on my daily rounds.
Well. {{audible sigh}}
The pears are now all off the tree. I'm not done talking about them yet, but, alas — I'm also not done talking about the little basket.
Let's just say that today the house smells like Tomato Cake. The insistent, insane aroma of roasted tomatoes.
Cranky did the work, his first time.
Cut up the tomatoes. Toss in oven dishes. Glug some oil on. Roast (375°F) for about 2½ hours, maybe less, maybe more (today's took a strangely long time). Let cool, then run the pulp through a food mill.
Tiresome, messy work. Oh, but the results! Packed into freezer bags.
Thanks, little basket, for helping us harvest.


Sam said...

hmm interesting technique which I am wondering if i could can instead of freeze?

Kalyn said...

Very yummy. Something similar is going on around here on a regular basis. I pinch off the skins and leave the tomatoes whole when I freeze them most of the time, but some of the time I do just what you are describing.

Dagny said...

I thought of you today when I read a recipe for a tomato and eggplant curry.

cookiecrumb said...

Sam: I've got a whole fridge (and freezer) full of roasted food, which I am hoping I can now put in a pot and reheat to the safe temperature, and then do the canning process. Y'know, kind of a day late.
You are a canning goddess.

Kalyn: I'm very familiar with your roasted tomatoes!

Dagny: Curry! OMG

claudia said...

yes - that's just about my technique cept i roast em dry with some salt only. then i throw them in the vitamix with my good olive oil. this way i don't heat the oil keeping it in its raw, healthier and more delicious state - i ain't heating my pricey oil... then i add pepper after. sometimes i roast garlic with the tomatoes and lightly oil the garlic. the whole roasting thang - it is absolutely the most wonderful tomato flavor.

Anna Haight said...

Your food bill must be awfully low with all the delightful harvest you not only eat fresh, but put away for the winter months!

Monkey Wrangler said...

Cookie: Six quarts of tomato sauce are currently doing their long boil before sitting around forever on a garage shelf. Its got me thinking: I have canner and food, you have food and ambition. When's the date? Think, retirement and monkey wrangling make for a canning day during the week! Let me know when you(s) could come over and boil the shit out of some stuff. Soon.

Man plants. I'm currently getting a few pounds of them every other next week, sauce time.

Suma said...

Hey, yummy and seems too tasty...

suma valluru

Beccy said...

I love your basket and how nice to be harvesting your own food.

ChrisB said...

I had to go and check you hadn't sneaked my basket when I wasn't looking!! I was talking to Sam about canning the other day, it's not something I ever did. I always froze everything.

El said...


is all I can say

Zoomie said...

Beautiful picture - love the rough basket with the red, red fruit! You must have a nice camera, too - it really takes good shots!

cookiecrumb said...

Claudia: Good one. I don't even salt, but adding the oil after the heat is smart. Now I feel stupid. :(

Anna: We were tossing around figures yesterday on how much heirloom tomatoes cost, and how much we're not paying! We've had literally hundreds of "free" tomatoes.
But then there's the water bill. But we off-set that by not showering. ;-)

Monkey Wrangler: All I really want is to see someone do it. Mebbe I could come and watch.

Suma: It's heaven.

Beccy: I told Cranky today I didn't even want to go out into the yard! But I went. Had to see how the eggplants are coming along. And I pulled up my first leek! Eek!

ChrisB: I think canning skipped a generation. I know my mom didn't do it. But, since I'm close to your age, it almost skipped me too.

El: All systems GO!

cookiecrumb said...

Zoomie: Why, thankee! The camera is pretty good, but it's a lot smarter than I am and sometimes it baffles the heck out of me.

kudzu said...

Honey, you should wear one of those aprons of yours when harvesting -- very fetching in a June Allyson sort of way!

I walked into Poggio today for lunch carrying a bag full of tomatoes -- they were for my daughter-in-law. Elicited interest among the staff, esp. the great big Brandywine in the middle.

cookiecrumb said...

Kudzu: Yes, I get it! Hoist the harvest in my silly little apron. I think of that most of the time, but I'm usually already out there in just my T-shirt. I should leave an apron outside.
How cute of you to march into Poggio with tomatoes. You harvested a Brandywine! Brava.

kudzu said...

JUST your T-shirt?? Lordy.

cookiecrumb said...

Kudzu: No, wait, I mean... :D
I am properly attired in my pajama bottoms as well, their pockets stuffed with tomatoes and zucchini.

dave k said...

Funny - just read about this long long tomato roasting technique on another blog (it was on figsoliveswine on blogspot). Personally I think I'm too impatient for this: I slice the tomatoes, salt and oil 'em, then roast them on parchment paper at around 275 just until the skins peel off -- takes around 15 or 20 minutes. Then I spread those yummy things on buttered toast & eat them for breakfast. Kinda want some right now!

cookiecrumb said...

DaveK: That sounds fabulous. What a great thing to do for RIGHT NOW, and you are obviously a right-now kinda guy.
The oven-roasted sauce goes through a food mill to remove the skin and seeds, and then goes into the freezer for LATER.
Yeah, I want a roasted slice on toast right now!

Tea said...

Cuteness! I can hardly stand it.

Canning--soon. You can watch:-)