Monday, September 26, 2011

Freezing Tomatoes

It's tomato season...I've had a wonderful harvest and am thrilled with the results, the only thing is that I cannot keep up with them.  Now that we have had our first rain, I heard that we should quickly pick all our tomatoes as to save them from getting blight. 
I was chatting to Lovella about my abundance in fruit and she asked me what I did with them all?
I said, "You just wash them, throw them in a bag and freeze them."  What?  She did not believe me.  I said, "I've been doing that for years, and then in the middle of winter when I have time I use the frozen tomatoes to make my fresh chilli, salsa, soup, or spaghetti sauce."
"You need to post that." says Lovella.  That's a great idea.
It's funny how sometimes the simple techniques that we use, need to still be shared with our wonderful readers.


Instructions
  • Pick your extra tomatoes or go purchase a batch of fresh ones
  • Wash them
  • Package them in a plastic bag
  • Throw them into the freezer
Now let the busy months of the year pass by and by January you will begin to remember those frozen tomatoes in your freezer.
  • Take them out
  • Do not thaw them as they are difficult to cut.
  • Throw them into a sterile sink with hot water.
  • The peels will peel off very easily.
  • Cut them into the desired size.
  • Make your favorite salsa, spaghetti, soup or chilli sauce.
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Another kitchen gadget....

I entered Elsie's kitchen, (SIL)  and saw these fresh peaches sitting on her counter. Then my eyes turned towards this peculiar kitchen gadget.
"What's this I asked?"
She said, "You don't have this in your kitchen?"
"Take one home right now...I have two of these."
While making my salsa today...my daughter not only enjoyed this gadget, but noticed how it poured so simply into the jars. No more dripping syrup on my jars and towels.
Are you still looking for a good Salsa recipe?
 
 This kitchen gadget is inserted inside your jar.  I promise you..."No More Mess!  And No More Burns!"


Sometimes it's the simple things in life that keeps life running smoothly. I have not ventured out to see where these could be purchased...But I know you will all want one...Let's see who knows what they are, or what they are called or better yet, who has one of these?

53 comments:

  1. Wonderful, I love your blog and all you share.

    cheers
    Christine

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  2. It's called canning funnel and I've had mine for probably 10 years. They always have them in the stores with the jars at this time of year.

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  3. Someone taught me the freezing tomatoes trick last year and it's great for me since I don't do canning. It's so easy!!

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  4. Around here the canning funnel is available at most of our stores with the canning supplies. I've always had one (or 2) just as my mom always did...much easier for filling jars!

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  5. Good morning! I love this blog, and occasionally it makes me chuckle! I love to hear how some items/ideas/recipes are so new for some folks when they've always been a part of my family. I really value my Mennonite heritage, and love it when others pick up on our traditions/quirks/recipes etc.!

    I just want to make a small correction in the directions of this recipe. One which totally identifies us as German/Low German speaking Mennonites! The author used the word "unthaw" when she really only means "thaw"! So many in Southern Manitoba use that word and I'm sure it's because of the Low German word "oppdaeven" (or however you would spell it). In High German "auftauen". And that makes us want to say "unthaw" when we speak English. Those who speak the language will understand. I have to catch myself, too! I guess it goes with us wherever the Mennonites go! There always seems to be something that connects us in some way or another, and I love it, whether recipes or small quirks.

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  6. It is a canning funnel and have used mine for a few years now. It's a wonderful gadget, and it really does keep your hands from getting burned and doesn't allow for a mess to be left behind!

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  7. I've had one for forty plus years except mine has the 'well'used' look by now!

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  8. Hi! Love your blog! I checked the link to the salsa and it looks delicious. I have a question though, I never make salsa without processing it. Any other thoughts on that? I am always looking for new ideas. :)

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  9. At the end of the season when the tomatoes are winding down I freeze my tomatoes until I think have enough on hand for a full batch of jars in the cooker. Then I cook them down and put in jars at my convenience when I have the time to devote to them. However I do think it changes the consistency just a little!

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  10. I have a glass funnel that was my mother's.

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  11. I also have one handed down from my Grandma i think. I have been using it for many years. And you are right.. it does save on the messes of spilling boiling syrup and hot hot salsa.

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  12. Oh yes, my Mom has always had a canning funnel, and so do I since marrying over 40years ago... but mine's a plastic one... and I'm on my second... wish I could find a metal one.
    ~Marg N

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  13. Pretty pretty pretty, love the tomatoes, just beautiful! Thank you!

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  14. *Marg N

    I have seen these as recently as last week at Homesense. While the opening for the jar is the same, the top is larger; I have two, one older version and the newer version. Can't imagine canning without one.

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  15. I purchased a funnel like this from amazon a couple of years ago. It was called a wide-mouth canning funnel. I don't know if there are canning funnels that are not wide mouth, but the one in this post is. Thanks for the great tip about freezing tomatoes. We've had an overabundance of tomatoes this year, and I never thought of freezing them whole!

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  16. Thanks Manitoba Mother. . .we fixed it real quick . :)

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  17. Actually I have 2. One metal and one larger plastic one. Canning departments should have them or check out www.Lehmans.com - the nonelectric supply store in Ohio. Since I handle the hot jars, I also find it helpful to wear an extra thick rubber glove on my left hand and a blue nitrile rubber glove on my right for gripping and protection against spills, etc. Thank you for sharing these lovely photos.

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  18. I guess I am just cheap. I took one of the several sets of plastic funnels that we received for our wedding and cut off the bottom. I have a one that fits in my regular jars and one that fits in my wide mouth jars. Homemade canning funnels! :-)

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  19. Mr. Google to the rescue again. Canning funnels can be purchased at Lee Valley, amazon.ca, and Canadian Tire.

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  20. That salsa looks delicious. My mom has a funnel just like the one you pictured. They are a lifesaver. This summer I found one I love, it is plastic and made by Ball it is called a collapsible canning funnel. They can be found anywhere Ball products are sold. I LOVE it, even more than the metal one. Thanks for a great blog and all the recipes.

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  21. I've always said 'unthaw' as well but I have no Mennonite background. Perhaps it's a prairie thing since I'm Saskatchewan born and raised. I've always loved this way of freezing tomatoes. The easier the better is my motto...;-)

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  22. Lee Valley Tools has a metal canning funnel, and they can be ordered online as well as in stores.

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  23. I did not know that this would activate such a strong response to the canning funnel. Thank-you so much to all of you for sharing your insight from years of canning.

    I'm feeling ripped off as to why my mother never had this tool. I think this will make a perfect gift for some of the stockings that need to be filled.

    Manitoba Mother, you have me chuckling...thanks for your sense of humor. I'll guit unthawing my meat and start defrosting it instead....

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  24. I, too, have frozen tomatoes for years. When I make chili, I just dump the frozen tomatoes in the crockpot along with the other ingredients. My husband and I do not mind the skins.

    Lorraine

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  25. a canning funnel, they are very handy, i've used them foryears. Do you know about the magnet wand for lifting the sealing lids out of the hot water? What about the jar lifter for taking them in and out of the water bath canner? You can buy a complete boxed set of all the gadgets mentioned for a few dollars at walmart.

    salsa looks delish :)

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  26. I've been freezing tomatoes like this for years. They are so tasty in chili and homemade vegetable soup in the winter!

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  27. I have three of these! A metal one like yours that has several different sized "sieve" attachments that screw onto the bottom; a glass one that belonged to my Mom and a plastic one.
    Couldn't can without them.

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  28. I am excited to learn how to freeze tomatoes! What a good idea.

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  29. Freezing extra tomatoes has been a SoCal kitchen practice for years. Can't recall who taught me the practice; the only difference between how you do it and how we did it was we always dried the tomatoes carefully a froze them on a cookie sheet, so they wouldn't touch and freeze together before we bagged them.

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  30. Yep a canning funnel and can probably be found with all kitchen gadgets. I have had mine for at least 25 years and even though I no longer can I use it for many other things. Hard to believe you have canned and never had one, can't imagine doing without.

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  31. Oh yes...I definitely freeze my tomatoes when I can't keep up with them. This summer when I was making my first batch of pizza sauce I was a little short on tomatoes...went to the freezer to supplement from there :) Works great!

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  32. My mom froze everything, as we had only a tiny Hudson's Bay company for groceries and dry goods. People, as you say, are often surprised that it's possible. I'm a Manitoba girl, and not even close to being Mennonite or near a Mennonite community but have always said "unthaw"!!

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  33. I have a couple canning funnels. Aside from the containment of whatever is on the way into the jar, I like the headspace marks on the inside of the neck of the funnel. I was sure I would see a reference to that in the comments.

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  34. I got mine from a Rubbermaid home party just after we were married - 30 some years ago! I thought every home canner had one.

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  35. I could HUG you!! I had NO IDEA you could freeze tomatoes...what a GREAT tip, thank you so much.

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  36. wow - who'd have thought you could freeze tomatoes - not me :) thanks for sharing and thanks too to Lovella! now I know what to do with those few tomatoes I keep picking while I wait to get enough to make more salsa

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  37. I had one of those canning funnels, and wouldn't can without it! I kept it even after I moved into an RV and have no room to store canned goods. It's still great for filling jars with leftover sauces, etc.
    The highbush cranberries are a new thing to me here in the Northeast, but that pie makes me drool!

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  38. I have one of those canning gadgets too - a great help! I'm following your advice for the tomatoes. We almost had a frost this morning - so I'm heading out to pick the tomatoes and pop them in the freezer. Thanks!!

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  39. I'm from the Uk so I call my gadget a jam funnel, but it is exactly the same thing! I have had it for several years and wouldn't be without it when I am making jam, marmalade, pickles and chutneys.

    We also freeze tomatoes like that, although I delegate the peeling of the frozen ones to my husband when I want to use them.

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  40. I really appreciate my canning funnel, I never knew people canned without them :O I could see that being tricky.

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  41. It is a canning funnel. I have my grandmothers funnel. I love using it. She was a great canner of all the produce from my Papa's garden. Love your blog and cookbook.

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  42. I also use my canning funnel when storing bulk dry goods in smaller containers...makes pouring things like flour or grains or dried beans very easy.

    Thanks for the tip on the tomatoes! I never thought of freezing them whole - what a timesaver!

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  43. I was taught to freeze fresh tomatoes when we were living in Churchill and the fresh-produce-on-the-train-day did not coincide with my one day a month cooking day.

    Since then I've also kept a container of chopped green onions in the freezer. Great for adding a garnish to soups or for making quesadillas, or anything else where texture is not an issue.

    We got our canning funnel in 2001, the first year our Saskatoons bore fruit and I was learning to can. I haven't done any canning since but use the funnel a lot! Ours came from the local small town grocer in canning season but you can also find them at Home Hardware.

    I don't can our fruit but freeze both our saskatoons and our cherries. I also dry the cherries but haven't tried drying the s'toons yet.

    I also did a lot of "unthawing" being from Low German ancestry and growing up in a predominantly Mennonite community, until I married my grammar police husband over 25 years ago.

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  44. My mom gave me the canning funnel she had when we were growing up. Looks just like yours only with a few more dings and creases. Works great for everything canning. Used it when we were kids-good times.

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  45. I got my stainless steel canning funnel at Lee Valley Tools. It's great. I also got a Bernardin snap lid magnet. Basically it,s a magnet on a stick, but it means no more fiddlefaddling around trying to separate snap lids in a pan of boiling water. These are my two secrets to happy canning.

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  46. In the North of the Netherlands we use the word ontdooien, meaning unthawing. I guess that really means freezing, but we do mean thawing, unthawing was just right to my mind. I like the Mennonite girls site, learning things and recognizing things, it is a small world, the kitchenworld.

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  47. SUCH and interesting blog that got so many responses!! So, I'll add mine. :) I think I've always used a canning! I'm pretty sure my mom had one, too, but I don't remember that far back.
    Manitoba Mother, I've thought the same thing about saying "unthaw". Like the lady from the Netherlands said, it would actually mean freezing!! Just like the term "plug out". My friends say that sounds so funny, but I think it's a direct translation from 'aus' whatever it is in German!! So 'unplug' is the correct way of saying it. ;)

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  48. Do the frozen tomatoes also work for salads and sandwiches?

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  49. I started freezing tomatoes last year and would always add one or two to my lasagna (tasted fresher than with just tomato paste), and I cut out the stem/core before I freeze them. My canning funnel is from Dollarama and I'm pretty sure they have them there year-round.

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  50. I have something very similar... my husband bought some funnels from Canadian Tire, they came in a pack of three. I took the largest one and cut off the funnel and about an inch up from there...and that is how thrifty mine is:)

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  51. I love to make salsa, but have a hard time getting enough of my tomatoes to ripen all at once in order to make a big batch. Maybe freezing the tomatoes is the answer! How do I proceed with making salsa once my tomatoes are frozen? Do you still dip them in hot water to get the skin off? Does it change the consistency of the salsa? Taste or texture? It sure sounds a lot simpler because then my tomatoes can wait for me, instead of me waiting for them! I made Judy's salsa for the first time last year and it is by far my favourite recipe that I have ever tasted, homemade or bought! It is so tasty with just the right amount of kick. Thanks for helping me with my tomato problem!
    Kathy

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    Replies
    1. Hi,
      I,m like you...I've bought a box...for making salsa because I like to double Judys batch and make several batches. It's a full day's work. I've never make salsa from my frozen tomatoes...I would still dip them in hot water, as the skins peal off so easily. I find that right now I have green peppers, onions jalapenos and they are all so fresh. I prefer to use fresh produce when I can my salsa and use the frozen tomatoes in chilli/soups and spaghetti sauces.
      Hopefully that helps.

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