Saturday, February 28, 2009

semi-dried tommy toes

All the way across the world Wendy, in snowy Scotland, is drying tomatoes.

Here is sun-drenched Melbourne I am giving away more tomatoes than I can eat. For a very small garden we have been spoilt with produce. Right now the grapes are dripping off the vine, the hot chillies are ripening, we have been harvesting an eggplant or three a week since mid-January and there is an embarrassing abundance of Tommy Toe’s and Grosse Lisse.

Encouraged by Wendy’s winter efforts, last night I did the first batch of dried Tommy Toes. This is my favourite tomato, a large cherry style about 3-4 cm across that grows in a little vine.

Batch number one is “semi-dried”, still a bit moist rather than leathery. Halved and placed on a rack with a light sprinkle of caster sugar, salt and cracked pepper, I cooked them for about 2.5 hours in a 100c oven. We went to bed breathing in the fruit scented air, a miraculous aromatherapy cure - I slept til 9am!

This morning I packed the semidried tomatoes into recycled anchovy jars with organic olive oil and fresh local garlic. Not being fully dried, it will be important to keep them well covered in oil but what a fragrant dressing the excess oil will make!

Now, just waiting for some cool weather to do a second batch. With the current ant plague I don’t dare dry them au naturel in the sun.

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Blogger LisaPal said...

Oh, man! That's making me hungry! They look delicious.

7:13 pm  
Blogger Zoe said...

My tomatoes are in the same bed they've been in for the last two years, and they have decided that three years in one spot is not on. ;(

OTOH, the volunteer cherry tomatoes have gone utterly nuts, but mostly yellow cherries which are all acid, no sweet and 99.99 % seed, thus explaining their robust self-seeding. I don't mean to sound complaining, the first few kilos were great!

11:54 pm  
Blogger steph said...

My tomatoes died when we had a heatwave (here in Perth) a couple of weeks back.

I love the idea of drying your own tomatoes! So great.

1:19 am  
Anonymous Lucy said...

Yep - that oil's gonna be Ace.

We've an ant plague, too. Wonder why?

12:30 pm  
Blogger bunchesmcginty said...

Oh, if only I had a garden. Mucho mucho jealousy.

Especially with the oil and the local garlic.

2:20 pm  
Blogger Ran said...

i also have too many tommies, especially cherry ones.

how long are you going to dry the fully dried ones? i might try that later this week when it gets cold. i have already made pasta sauce, relish, gazpacho and sorbet with them as well as eating them in everymeal!

6:36 pm  
Blogger Ran said...

oh btw the ant plague is cause its so so dry. we have them crawling up the water tank. when i water my pot plants, bees come from everywhere to drink, its so sad wathcing the poor insects dehydrate

6:38 pm  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

Lisa - pity you can't pop on over for a bite to eat :(

Zoe - the garden bed is only a year old but in between winter and summer planting we through in about $200 worth of organic goodies to enrich the soil. We don't have the luxury of crop rotation alas, so it will be compost and worm wee from here on in.

Bunches - a tommy toe in a large pot would do it and another of basil and you'd be laughing.

Ran - ah yes the familiar ant plague in the drought, I keep telling the SE that but he won't believe me! Batch 2 were at 75-100c for 4 hours, still could have been drier. This lot I did more salt, less pepper and no sugar. There are some dried capers as well as garlic in the oil. Can't wait to do a taste comparison.

8:34 pm  
Blogger Wendy said...

That oil is going to taste amazing. Think I'll try this out later today.

2:02 am  
Anonymous UnR34L said...

ooft am gonna stealy theif them, i make them all the time, nice with pasta :)

4:52 am  
Blogger kimberly said...

I usually like to be aware about the take care of the toes and i like to read about it. This because i´m sure the toes is the sexiest part of our body. I usually like to touch the toes of my body, it say the massage can exited the man. but now he to buy viagra and his mood has been an amazing change.

1:14 pm  

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