I actually didn’t grow a garden this year. It is the largest drought recorded in Californian history. Since there are a large selection of small, organic farms to shop from in the area, I decided to leave the expert food suppliers the extra water for down home agriculture. Then I fell in love. And this new love of mine has many more things in his life for me to fall deeper and deeper. Firstly, his five year old kid. Secondly, his amazing garden. These cherry tomatoes fell of the bush into my hands by the dozens. In a half hour I must have picked ten pounds, not counting the variety of wayward tomatoes which were hanging off my back, falling down my shirt and sticking to my thighs from the kiddo playfully throwing them at me! So, the situation is that, after eating to our hearts content, as well as giving cartons and cartons away to friends and family, we still have tomatoes creeping out our ears. It was time to take an afternoon for some good old fashioned tomato sun drying.
This is a simple process. First you will need some screens or racks, a knife, a cutting board and lots of eagerness. We used the racks from our household dehydrator. Chopping the cherry tomatoes (if you have a different, larger variety of tomato then slice into 1/4″- 1/2″ wedges. Not too thin or they stick to your screen) in half, spread them out on the tray. Some people like to use parchment paper.
Next, select a sunny spot outdoors. Ive set trays on the rooftop or on the table on our back porch. Depending upon your region, you may want a partially shady spot or a layer of shade cloth to cover the trays. They can get too hot. Bring the screens in at night, so that raccoons and other critters dont steel your bounty. I know better. But they were left outside anyway and the loot was taken. Here is what was left for us. Just enough.
What kind of tomatoes are you drying this season?