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Home Grown Tomatoes

This year our garden produced a bumper crop of tomatoes. We were particularly busy, and lucky to pick them - no time for cooking. The home grown tomatoes are delicious, but you can only eat so many.  After giving away bags of tomatoes, there were LOTS left, and some were starting to go bad. How do you quickly use tomatoes before they go to waste?  Here are 3 ideas to quickly use lots of tomatoes. 


1.  Freeze the Tomatoes

Wash the tomatoes, put them in a ziplock bag, and freezer it. Now you can deal with the tomaotes in the winter, maybe making more tomato stew (below).  

I  mentioned this to a few people, and they gave me their solutions getting the skin off. I don't care about the skin, and just put them in whole.  This was good for extra tomatoes did not have any bad spots yet. I didn't take time to cut the stems off - maybe I'll regret this. Time will tell this winter.

2. Make Quick and Tasty Tomato Stew

I'll call this Tomato Stew for lack of a better name. It could also be called tomato soup. Since it is not smooth and creamy like traditional tomato soup, I'll call it stew. 


  • Pound of Italian Sausage
  • Onions, Peppers or whatever other vegetables you want to use up
  • Garlic
  • Oregano, Basil, Rosemary, Salt and Pepper or whatever seasoning you want to use
  • Tomatoes

Preparation - 15 minutes

  1. Brown the ground beef with chopped onions and peppers (as available). I used 1 onion and 1 green pepper.
  2. Put everything in the crock pot and let it simmer on high for 4 hours or longer on low. I took basil and rosemary from the garden and just cut it up into the crock pot, sprinkled in a bunch of Italian Seasoning, salt and pepper, and added garlic.  Use whatever you have, and don't be shy - lots of seasoning makes it tasty. I quickly quartered the big tomatoes, cut cherry tomatoes in half and added them until the crock pot was almost full.


  • I am not fussy about eating the tomatoe skin.
  • This is a good way to quickly use up tomatoes that are getting some bad spots - just cut them  off.
  • Put tomato stew into jars into ball jars and freeze for winter tomato goodness. Don't forget to leave some room for expansion.
  • It smells great as it cooks.

Ways to serve:

  • Over spiralated zucchini
  • Just eat it - like soup
  • Heat it in a pan, and cook an egg on top of it for breakfast. (This might sound strange, but it was a quick and tasty breakfast).

3. Tomato Cucumber Salad

This salad is quick to make, delicious and keeps well.  Use it as a side dish for many meals or take it to a party.


  • Cucumber
  • Tomatoes  - 3 or 4 larger tomatoes per large cucumber
  • Onion
  • Olive Oil
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper


Into a large bowl (one that you have a cover for)

  1. Thinly slice cucumber
  2. Cut tomato into wedges
  3. Thinly slice an onion (red onion would be good, but I just had yellow handy)
  4. Drizzle with Olive Oil and Red Wine Vinegar
  5. Add Sale and Pepper and stir
  6. Cover and Refrigerate

Serve as a side dish. Easy and delicious!


by Sue Tripp

By Sue Tripp helps develops websites to help local organizations and businesses use the internet to make connections in their community. She is happy to call Warrenville home. She is a foodie/farmer wanna-be, trying to learn to cook and grow her own crops, a glass artist at Gallery 200, and follower of SCARCE and green practices.


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