I think almost of people loves tomatoes. But not all the people knows the season of tomatoes is quite short, around 6-8 weeks per year. Thanks to the evolution and industry we can find tomatoes all the year, produced in glasshouses in Holland or Spain or South Africa, but there is a lot of pollution and plastic used because of the production and transport.
As I propose myself to eat more what is specific in season and more local, I try to eat maximum tomatoes now and to preserve for several weeks of winter.
In fact, for Belgium, this summer was extraordinary hot and tomatoes were in blossom. Not happening often – even in my garden I produced a lot –and still a lot of small green one. So why not to use this chance?
Last weekend I bought tomatoes from a local producer (http://www.hainaut-terredegouts.be/producteur/ferme-les-cinq-epines/ ) – and I think it is their neighbour that is producing and 5 epines sells 🙂 . With 3 euro/kg I bought great tomatoes so next weekend I plan to buy again, a bigger quantity, to prepare for winter.
What I will do?
Well, I buy tomatoes, of course. Usually I negotiate the price for big quantities but not with the producers 🙂 . I will go Saturday at the Clemenceau market directly to Sebastien, the farmer from 5 epignes (the place is somewhere at the end, behind the meat covered place) and I will choose the well red tomatoes, even there are a little broken – this is because of too much rain or too much gravity 🙂 – just to be well mature. Wash, put in boiling water for 2 min to easy peel and then cut in several pieces and boil for 30-40 min. I add flavours, of course: onion and garlic, thyme and basil (from my balcony). Quantities: for 5 kg of tomatoes, half of kg of onions, several garlic cloves, 1 table spoon of thyme, a hand of basil. No salt – I want to freeze it. I let to stay for 2-3 hours then to split in plastic ice cream boxes (saved) and freeze it – 10 bags. In November-> January will be a perfect fast pasta sauce for 10 weeks.
Time consuming? Yep. Shopping time, 1 hour to peel and cut tomatoes in pieces and boil. In same time is boiling I clean the onions and garlic – and cut in several pieces and add with the tomatoes. After 15-20 min of boiling together with the vertical mixer I will mix well the tomatoes and all the other ingredients and let to boil more several minutes. Put in boxes and freeze. Yep, 1 hour in the kitchen, less than 20 euro spend but I will eat 10 times a quality sauce without anymore effort.