Summer is in full stream. Garden is growing and producing goodness everyday. During my evening walk through I see new things growing and ripening.
While the it takes care of itself, and I work on planning our fall garden. Every weekend is full of trying to preserve the taste, flavors and produce of the summer season. My yellow pear tomato and grape tomato plants are in abundance, so I've been oven roasting them. Since I don't yet have a dehydrator, I have to use the oven in between my bread baking schedule.
Oven drying small tomatoes are simple, I got this recipe from one of my favorite blogs, www.digthischick.net. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with oil, then slice all the little tomatoes in half. Placing them on the sheet slice side up, then drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Then place in the oven for three hours, around that time start checking the tomatoes. You want them to be dried and leathery, so they may need to cook longer depending on their size.
Then you can store them in an air tight container or place in zip lock bag and toss into the freezer. During the winter pull them out and add to soups, chili or pizza.
Now freezing is another busy task I take on pretty much each weekend. I've been keeping busy with green beans and corn from the farmers market. Now you can find blanching times every where on the internet. I usually turn to pickyourown.org. Each vegetable has there own required blanch time. So you cook them for the time necessary then immediately put the produce into ice cold water, this stops the cooking process.
Then place them into the a zip lock bag, now for a great trick I learned at a 15Thousand Farmers. Once the veggies are in the bag, zip it almost close, stick a straw into the corner. Then suck the air out of the bag, creating a vacuum seal.
With these little things done here and there, my family will be able to enjoy this bounty of summer during the chilliness of winter.