Its that time of the gardening year when the tomatoes are ripening at an astounding rate. Its so exciting waiting for the first green ones to turn red and then in the blink of the eye you have so many you don’t know what to do with them all! I admit I was a bit aggressive with the amount of plants I put in. I started by seed two varities:
produces bright red, meaty tomatoes with incredible flavor and aroma earlier than other varieties. Its globe-shaped fruit is perfect for slicing on sandwiches and for salads..
Bursting with sugary flavor, Sweet 100s produce scarlet, cherry-sized fruits in long clusters right up to frost. You’ll definitely want to stake or cage these vigorous climbers to keep the fruit off the ground and avoid pests and diseases.
Their germination rate was fantastic and by the time the weather allowed me to set them outside , I had over 3 dozen plants!
Here is a favorite recipe my mother used to make that I plan on making with my Early Girl Tomatoes:
Ingredients : 4 qt. ripe tomatoes 1 qt. celery 1 qt. onions 1 qt. water 6 sweet peppers 3 tbsp. salt 2 tbsp. sugar Preparation : Start by dicing peppers, onions, celery (coarse stalks and leaves may be used). Add water and cook together 20 minutes. Next add the tomatoes, peeled and cut, with the seasonings. After the mixture boils, put it into hot jars and process in a hot water bath 30 minutes for quarts, and 25 minutes for pints.Add herbs as desired. Can also be frozen.
This is especially good with cube steak and mashed potatoes or over stuffed cabbage.
For the glut in the Sweet 100 a cherry tomato, I found a recipe for slow roasted tomatoes on Pinterest.
Recipe: Slow-Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
- Cut the tomatoes in half end-to-end, and place cut side up on a pan.
- Optional: Slice 4-5 cloves of garlic, and sprinkle over the tomatoes.
- Strip several sprigs of fresh thyme, and sprinkle the leaves over the tomatoes.
- Season with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper and drizzle extra-virgin olive oil liberally over all of the tomatoes.
- Place in the oven at 200°F for 6-8 hours; the tomatoes will collapse, but not completely dry out. (since they’ll be in there a while, preheating is not necessary)
- Cool and serve with crackers and soft cheese or package to preserve.
Preserving Slow-Roasted Tomatoes
Freezing: Pack tomatoes into a freezeable container, and pour the oil from the pan over the top. Cover with more olive oil if needed, label and freeze for up to 6 months.
Fridge: Transfer tomatoes to a jar and cover with olive oil. Cover jar with lid and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Here are some other varieties I bought at a local farmers market and are new to me this year:
Organic Golden Nugget Tomato – Bright yellow cherries produce early and abundantly on compact plants. One inch fruit are juicy with a mild flavor. Skin is thinner than other similar varieties in our trials, yet more resistant to cracking.
Cherokee Purple Tomato
An old Cherokee Indian heirloom, pre-1890 variety; beautiful deep dusky purple-pink color, superb sweet flavor, and very large sized fruit. Try this one for real old-time tomato flavor.
Regular leaf plant with prolific yield of 10 oz., round, deep orange-gold fruit that contains extremely high content of beta-carotene (10 times more than other tomatoes). And very good taste to boot.