Monday, September 12, 2011

Gourmet tomatoes

Little orange grape tomatoes grow fantastically in our garden. We eat them for lunch and supper. I even snack on their bright sweetness when I walk through the garden or the kitchen

I don’t can those tomatoes, I save them for drying. Sliced in half and arranged on the circular trays of our dehydrator, it takes about 36 hours to turn three or four quarts of plump, juicy tomatoes into thin golden wafers – essence of tomato.

On our yearly canoe trip to the Boundary Waters or Quetico in Canda, the dried tomatoes provide vitamin C and bright flavor to our camping meals – an assortment of rice or noodles with variously flavored cheese sauces – alfredo, parmesan, and American, all selected not for their taste, but because they are light in weight, prepackaged, and only need to be boiled in water for 7 to 10 minutes to produce a filling meal. Our camp cooking isn’t gourmet until we add those dried tomatoes.

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