September Gardening 2015

by Jane Ahrens


From Mélie’s Garden

This month I am overwhelmed with ripe tomatoes! This is my own fault because I was so concerned about the tomato plants I planted in late May that I bought more to put in the garden in June. The first ones I planted looked like they might have tomato blight, so I sprayed them once with an organic tomato spray and amazingly enough it worked, so now I have healthy tomato plants from both plantings and tons of tomatoes!

I usually make Tomato Chutney when I have a bumper crop, but last year I experimented with slow roasting tomatoes and placing large scoops of them in small plastic freezer bags. I put the “roasted tomato bags” in the freezer and added the contents to sauces, soups, stews or casseroles whenever tomatoes are required throughout the year. The results were delicious!


Roasted Tomatoes for the Freezer

  • Halve or quarter regular size tomatoes
  • Leave on the skins, but remove all the seeds
  • Place the tomatoes flesh side up on a parchment-lined baking sheet with sides to catch the juice.
  • Season with olive oil, peeled garlic, rosemary, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper
  • Roast in the oven for 3 to 5 hours at 275 degrees

Once finished, spread on toasted French bread or make tomato sauce adding sautéed onions. Or, place in plastic bags and freeze for later use in sauces, stews, soups or casseroles.

If you have an abundance of cherry tomatoes you can pickle them with this delicious recipe, a big favorite in my family!

Pickled Cherry Tomatoes
(These pickles are not processed, so need to be in the refrigerator and can be used for about ten days)

  • 12 oz. cherry, grape or pear tomatoes
  • ¼ cup of coarsely chopped fresh dill
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon of dried crushed red pepper
  • ¾ cup of apple cider vinegar
  • ¾ cup of water
  • 4 teaspoons of kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 1 3½ inch strip of lemon peel (yellow part only, removed with a carrot peeler)

Put the vinegar and water in a saucepan and add the salt, sugar and lemon peel. Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve the sugar and salt. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool for 20 min.

Meanwhile, prepare everything else. Halve the tomatoes and toss them with the dill, garlic and crushed red pepper in a large bowl. Add the cooled vinegar mixture. Let it stand at room temperature for about 2 hours and then pack the mixture into a large sterile jar and store in the fridge for a week or two.

Makes about three cups.

They are so good we have been known to eat them right out of the jar!

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USCG Eagle passing the Race early morning March 18, 2023 on her return from the Chesapeake Bay . Photo Credit Marlin Bloethe

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