Happy Birthday to a great Mom and Nana! We love you!
Upon my recent visits to the Bentonville Farmers' Market an idea for a recipe search struck me as I walked past bushel baskets and boxes full of tomatoes that needed to be used-pronto! The great part was that the red beauties were sold at a discount price. I decided to look through my old cookbook collection for recipes for ways to use up wonderful large amounts of summer produce. In the winter, it's such a treat to have the taste of the garden in anything you prepare. Not only did I find some recipes, but this book offers ways to fill your freezer. The book is called Cooking for The Freezer by Myra Waldo and it's from1960.
I remember when both my grandparents and my parents grew tomatoes in the summer; like green beans, when they come on the vines...they come with a vengeance; it's a blessing and a curse. My mom has a "summer kitchen" that's great for canning, just off the back of her house(it's a pre-Civil War house), and I have fond memories of learning to can tomatoes back on that screened porch. As a kid, I thought it was amazing how scalding the tomatoes made the skins peel right off! Fascinating and exciting for the "junior canning helpers", but for the women responsible for the whole process of "putting up" it's a full time job canning or freezing everything. I'm so glad that my mom was patient enough to put up with letting me "help" her on those hot summer days!
One year, we had particularly great conditions for green beans. Mom and Dad's vines flourished! We ate green beans everyday with our meals; some days, Mom and I would eat them solo as a lunch (there's nothing better-with bacon and onions in them!) Day after day, we picked green beans! There were beans piled on every available table. Prepping, canning and freezing were in full action mode. At the end of that summer(and our energy)we just let the rest go!
I hope you enjoy this recipe for homemade tomato soup that goes in the freezer. Imagine sitting by the window this January, watching it snow, while you dip your buttered toast into a bowl of this soup!
8 pounds very ripe tomatoes, diced
1 C water
2 onions, diced
2 tsp salt
1/4 C lemon juice
1/4 C sugar
2 TBSP butter
1 TBSP flour
3/4 C milk
Combine the tomatoes, water, onions and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat 30 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and sugar; cook 5 minutes. Puree the mixture in an electric blender, then strain; or force through a food mill. Pour 2/3 of the soup into a bowl and cool, then pour into 2 containers. Seal, label and freeze.
For Tonight's Dinner:
Melt the butter, blend in the flour. Gradually add the milk, stirring steadily to the boiling point. Mix into the remaining soup. Heat and taste for seasoning.
To Serve From Frozen State:
Turn contents of one container into a saucepan, cover and cook over low heat until thawed. Mix in white sauce as prepared above. Heat and taste for seasoning.
Serves 6-8 each time.
Savvy Southern Style
Miz Helen's Country Cottage
The 36th Avenue