Sunday, September 16, 2007

Slow As Snails Tomatoes

There are tons of tomatoes that happily grow in a high altitude garden. Unfortunately, I had a helper (aka meddler) who thought he was doing me a big favor by removing what I had planted (wonderful short-growing heirloom tomatoes) and filling my raised bed with traditional tomato plants. These foolish little seedlings thought they had all the time in the world...

There is so much bad news in the local paper* that I often wonder why I subscribe. Take this morning, for instance, when a sneaky little note in the corner of the front page warned that night temperatures would drop to 24 degrees (F). Oh, I know there are plenty of bigger problems in the world than frozen green tomatoes but I had sort of crossed my fingers that we'd have a long, leisurely autumn since it snowed in June. This is why containers are oftentimes a mountain gardener's best friend.

If you have an abundance of good fresh tomatoes, freeze them whole. Just wash, dry, and put them in freezer bags. They'll retain their flavor ~ great for all sorts of recipes (too squishy for salads.)

[Bake in 400 degree oven]
  • 6 green tomatoes, cut in 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2/3 cup skim milk
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1.5 cups seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1.5 cup Parmesan cheese
Mix beaten eggs, milk, and water in a shallow bowl. Mix bread crumbs and Parmesan in a separate shallow bowl. Dip tomato slices into the egg mixture, then into the bread crumbs. Arrange tomato slices on a cookie sheet and bake uncovered in 400° oven for about 10 minutes. Flip all of the tomatoes, to brown on the other side, and bake for 10 more minutes.

*Helpful Hints From The Headless Herald
(We have nicknamed our local paper the Headless Herald. It's just that bad.)

However! It makes a fabulous weed barrier. Lay down 6 sheets of tiresome local reporting and cover with 3 inches of mulch. By next spring your weed problems will be gone and you'll have a sweet little garden bed where passers by can stop and smell the roses.

Ripen green tomatoes by wrapping them in newspaper.
Remove the stems, wash and dry. Then individually wrap each tomato in a piece of newspaper and store the tomatoes in a dark, cool (55-60°F) spot, like your basement, where they will slowly ripen.

** Growing times: Lots of great veggies will happily grow in high altitudes. Read the fine print to determine how long they take to reach maturity. Planting Marigolds around the garden bed helps chase away critters who dine and dash.


Wunx~ said...

My condolences Kate.

One of these years you'll get some ripe tomatoes.

eleKtrofly said...


i've just moved from semi-tropical, sea-level houston texas to a tiny high-altitude skiing village...

container tomatoes are doing well, and we haven't had a freeze yet.