Re: [gardeners] Dehydrator-tomatoes

donna warren (
Thu, 17 Aug 2000 14:58:42 -0700

>Try the dried tomatoes, nothing to lose if you've got lots of them. Do be sure
>they are completely dry before you store them though or they will rapidly mold.

I have been drying tomatoes for several years and keep them in the freezer
to avoid mold.  For pizza, I prefer the slices to be only partly dried so
they can be included as a topping before baking and will not be so likely to
scorch.  If completely dry, I knead them into the dough.  A couple of weeks
ago, I was using fresh slices for topping; they tended to slide off when
bitten leaving a damp glistening spot where the slice had been; and they
tasted rather like stewed toms, not a favorite of mine.  Hence the
experiment with partial drying.  Taste was fantastic and they stayed put,
with a little parmesan for glue.

A few years back, I planted a "spoon" variety.  Clusters of tiny tomatoes
which have a flavor way bigger than their size.  And they reseed so wildly
that it appears that you have sown them as a ground cover.  So I dried some;
works well if you have a lot of time to waste as they need to be cut so the
moisture can escape.  I lined them up in the trough of a school ruler and
cut  them with a razor.  But didn't do that again.

Used to have a kitchen full of steam in August, and fruit flies attacking,
as I canned a 100 quarts.  100 quarts of anything take a lot of space.  And
it was not worth getting out the pressure canner, sterilizing the jars and
then protecting the jars from freezing in the winter.  Now, if I have a half
dozen  more than I can use fresh, it is so easy to dry them.  Just wash,
slice, and  pop them in the dryer.  A dishpan full of fresh ones can be
stored in a quart freezer bag tucked into any corner of the freezer.  Or if
completely dry, as George says, you can omit the freezer.  And you can do
anything with them that you can with canned ones.  Except make stewed
tomatoes - which is a plus.

Donna, Tennessee