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Tomatoes all seem to ripen at the same time! A glut. So it is feast or famine. Some tomato heavy recipes follow, to use or preserve in quantity. (See John Eppel, The Curse of The Ripe Tomato.) Crate of ripe tomatoes.jpg


They will simply freeze. Once frozen, all internal cell membranes will be broken so they will not come out in a way they can ever be sliced and used on sandwiches or in salads, but they will cook as well as fresh ones will.
So wash and clean before they go into the freezer. When needed, take out and thaw for half an hour, then throw into any recipe as you would whole fresh or tinned tomatoes.

Sun dry

Tomatoes are about 90 percent water. Cut them in quarters and place in the sun to dry. Do not leave them out in the rain! Cover with some netting or similar material to keep the flies and other insects off.
There are commercial dryers available, or you can make your own (a box with an old computer fan to draw air out works well!)
When dry (about two weeks, depending on the sun), store, covered, anywhere. They will last two years or more. Good for camping trips.
Before using, they will need to be reconstituted, by placing them in water (remember 90 percent lost) for many hours.


(Phil Dewdney, Mountain Club of Zimbabwe.)
Slow cook / stew up about ½ a litre of tomatoes. Blend / liquidise. Make ½ litre of white sauce.
(2 tbsp margarine, melt, add 3 to 4 tbsp flour, mix. Add ½ litre milk slowly, stirring all the time to avoid lumps. Add more or less to the thickness you desire.)
Mix tomatoes and white sauce, cook together for 5 minutes. S&P as required.

Pasta Sauce

(Patricia Barber, Mountain Club of Zimbabwe)
Slow cook /stew up (“steep” is the correct word) a pot of tomatoes. Very low heat for two to four days. Stir. Tomatoes will cook down (called "smash"!) to a homogenous sauce. Some people add Rosemary to cut any bitter taste. S&P as required.
Spoon over cooked pasta (“short pasta”, Farfalle / ‘bow tie' pasta is a good choice).

Fried Green Tomatoes

(Movie of same name.) A common USA “South” side dish. There are MANY recipes, develop your favourite.
½ cup roller meal. ½ cup flour. Enough milk to make a batter. S&P, herbs and spices. (I usually add Basil, but variety is the spice of life).
Dredge thick sliced tomatoes (green to almost ripe will hold together better) in batter and shallow fry.


Italian recipes. To preserve. Basically tomato puree.
Stew tomatoes until a paste.
Purists will remove all seeds and skins, (seed part has too much water).
When they are the right consistency for you, cool.
Put through food processor / grinder / blender etc.
Can (vacuum glass jars) or freeze.
I like to freeze them as ice cubes in ice cube trays, then I can take out as much as I want for whatever recipe, and drop straight into the cooking pot.

Home Made Tomato Paste

(Members Favourite Recipes: Cake Decorators Guild of Zimbabwe, Marlborough Branch.)
Take as many tomatoes as you have and place in microwaveable bowl – make a cut in each tomato and add a few sticks of celery and / or carrots with them. You can also use lime leaves and a bay leaf.
Microwave on high for 25 minutes. Give them a stir and then cook again for 15 minutes. Remove from microwave and let cool. Season to taste with salt and pepper – and add a tot of Port – this makes all the difference! Do not add garlic – do this when you use the sauce or your puree will taste rancid.
Place in a liquidiser and liquidise. Freeze.

You can also add chilies as well to make a chilli tomato sauce for pasta.