Ya'll had me laughing today when I was so kindly reminded of breaking the rules! Mentioning a delicious recipe without giving it is and SHOULD BE against the rules. I just hate to hear about something wonderful and not be able to try it out myself so I completely understand.
1. pick a lovely spot in your yard for your tomato plants.....you didn't think I'd start you off with the tomatoes already grown now, did you? We're homeschool moms here. Shouldn't we first talk about whether or not a tomato is a veggie or fruit? Did you know it was part of the "nightshade" family? Why, I've always wondered.....it loves the sun! Can I bring up heirloom tomato varieties? Does anyone here want to write the plural of tomato on the board for us? Any songs about tomatoes? "You say potato and I say patato, you say tomato and I say tamato...." And in this group we'll not forget to discuss the history of the tomato.....thought to be poisonous....or how it was often referred to as the "love apple." Please, would you in the back there mind writing up a short article on tomato planting and harvesting..complete with an "ly" word, a who/which clause, and an interesting adjective and adverb, double-spaced of course....
2. OK, now that you've got your location picked out and your history, spelling, sing-a-long, botanical, grammatical and writing assignments in order, let's move on to a few general helpful hints. Give your plants loads of sunlight. If you decide to try out SFG, you'll want 1 plant/sq. ft. (I love that abbreviation stuff....looks like I'm such a technical writer!) You'll be so tired from setting up the garden and planting that you'll need to go out to KFC using your GPS and if your husband is your main-man helper, he'll be needing some TLC. He'll be so happy you got the IRS and a possible audit out of his mind this time of year, the CIA and the FBI off his back, he'll want to get fancy with the garden but KISS. Trust me. And in case the kids are running through the garden too much, send them in the house to make some PB&J or BLT sandwiches.
3. After the tomato plants are growing and you're ready to harvest, pick your juicy fruits (or veggies...whatever you decided to call them). Bring them into the house and take a picture of them before they meet their maker, that's you and God. Get a pot of water boiling, stab the tomato with a fork and put it into the water for about 30 seconds. When you lift it out, the skin will peel off easily. In another big pot, simmer some onions, bell peppers, garlic, basil and oregano (fresh if you put that in your garden - I do!), a wee bit of salt and a tad of sugar in a splash of virgin olive oil.
4. After you've peeled your toms, quarter them and put them in the pot of spices and veggies. Now just let them cook and soak up all that flavor you just created. Stir and watch them melt away into goodness that will eventually go into your delectable dishes. You can strain them to remove the seeds if you didn't do so before cooking them or just let them be themselves and stay in the sauce. I say, let's just all get-along. Stay in the sauce and be happy.
5. Now you can put them in freezer bags and store them flat (saves space) or you can can them according to directions you'll find on www.freshpreserving.com.
I use these in all types of cooking: chili, spaghetti, soups, etc. Don't be surprised when you see that they aren't as dark as the sauces you buy in the grocery. You may also be impressed when you consider how many tomato plants the pioneer and homesteading families must have had to grow to feed their family year-round. Math! How many tomatoes does it take to make one large pot of spaghetti sauce? How many tomatoes do you need if one train leaves Houston at 4pm going 50 mph and another train leaves Memphis at 2:30pm going 45mph and everyone on the train wants tomatoes on their salad? No, the trains never meet. Why? Because I always trembled in fear when I knew those trains were going to meet and possibly crash! All those innocent people!....just for the sake of one math problem??? Not in my story!
Well, this has been fun. Hope you're more interested now in SFG, eating tomatoes, making homemade sauce, lining your pantry with pretty canning jars, writing essays about tomatoes and eating salads on trains.
Any questions? Oh, the measurements.....You know your family and their preferences. Just make it up as you go along, sing while you cook, stir and laugh, offer your husband a taste from a gigantic spoon, speak Italian with a twinkle in your eye.
Want to know how much a splash is? Well, Darlin', it all depends on how big you are when you hit the water.
Time to run.