Jerseygator's Blog


Cherry tomatoes = weeds

Posted in Garden by jerseygator on September 4, 2009
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OK, I know the title is probably “fightin’ words” but the cherry tomatoes in our garden this year are insane.  Here’s the thing… we probably have 12 cherry tomato plants… very prolific cherry tomato plants.  We didn’t actually plant any of these plants; they just grew on their own.  We called them volunteers, oohed and ahed over how cute they were, staked them up and left them alone.

Weeds fresh from the garden

Weeds fresh from the garden

Well, many, many gallon sized bags of tomatoes later, our friends are getting weary of our gifts.  These little orbs are like the evil zucchini of the tomato family.  And the real kicker is NO ONE in our family eats them!  What were we thinking?  Why didn’t we pull them out as recommended?  Actually, I know the answer to that.  I’m still a novice gardener and ANYTHING growing, actually growing, in my garden is cause for excitement.  It’s why I can’t thin the carrots and subsequently end up with too many little carrots rather a few bunches of big beautiful ones.  It’s why all the volunteer squash growing out of my compost pile are carefully mown around, so as not to disturb their yellow flowers.  And it’s why we have so many cherry tomatoes.

Well, we have finally found a solution.  And, may I say, a way-cool solution:  tomato powder!

Right now you’re probably thinking the same thing I thought after googling “cherry tomatoes & what the hell to do with them” or words to that effect.  I found a link to an extension office somewhere that described tomato powder.  Better yet, this recipe called for cherry tomatoes, not slicing or paste tomatoes.  So I gamely went out and picked all the ripe cherry tomatoes I could and started the process.

Tools of the trade

Tools of the trade

My husband is a kitchenophile; basically this means he likes the cool stuff in his kitchen (and it is his kitchen, let’s not even quibble).  So we have this amazing Electrolux oven with all the bells and whistles, which Darrol uses and I admire.  But this time I was jumping in and using the “dehydrate” mode.  Now, I have a dehydrator, which I faithfully use all summer.  We make dried fruits, dried vegies for soup stocks, dried herbs to get us through the winter, and even jerky which lasts about 1 hours in our house with 3 teens.  So I know dehydrating.  I figured the oven would be much more efficient, so I sliced up a bunch of weeds, er, cherry tomatoes and filled 3 trays in the oven.  The manual said about 5 hours, so I set the timer, then went about my day.  5 hour laters I had slightly wrinkly but still very juicy tomatoes.  Fine, out comes the dehydrator, I fill up 5 trays (plus a tray of hops I harvested that afternoon) and turn it on.  The hops came out an hour later.  Those tomatoes stayed on all night.

Crunchy, dehydrated cherry tomatoes

Crunchy, dehydrated cherry tomatoes

Well, I have to admit I enjoyed playing with the dried ‘maters.  They were like a crunchy cereal (not that I ate them, but that’s what they looked like).

And, when put in our handy-dandy grinder, they made the most awesome tomato powder!  This powder, which is kept in the fridge due to it’s hygroscopic nature, can be used to add tomato-y goodness to soups and sauces and (coolness alert) added to your pasta flour recipe to make tomato pasta.  Since  Darrol makes our own pasta, I’m thinking this will be a definite use.

Conclusion:  cherry tomatoes aren’t weeds.  You just have to know what to do with them.  And no one else is getting their hands on our precious little gems!

The finished product

The finished product

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4 Responses to 'Cherry tomatoes = weeds'

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  1. I don’t know If I said it already but …I’m so glad I found this site…Keep up the good work I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say GREAT blog. Thanks, 🙂

    A definite great read..

    -Bill-Bartmann

  2. Tnelson said,

    Hey, great blog…but I don’t understand how to add your site in my rss reader. Can you Help me, please 🙂

    • jerseygator said,

      I’m sorry, Tnelson, I don’t know the answer to that. However, you can follow my on Twitter @traceywilson … this always links to new blog posts. Hope this helps, and thanks for reading!

  3. Kelli Garner said,

    Thats very good to know… thanks


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