Posted on 22 June 2013 by tomatocasual.com

Recipe: Tomato Concasse (to-ma-to con-cuh-say)

Photo Credit: Skinning Tomatoes by missy & the universe used under CC BY 2.0

Photo Credit: Skinning Tomatoes by missy & the universe used under CC BY 2.0

By Steve Shetter Jr

I once worked in a restaurant called Portico’s.

It was equal to a four star restaurant and one night we had some very special guests and the chef wanted us to impress our guests.

I made this concasse and placed it in their salads and decorated their steaks with it upon coming from the grill.

The cool chill of the concasse blending with the Angus steak was very much liked and upon the guests returning, they wished to have the meal repeated.

Tomato Concasse is a food preparation technique that is defined as to crush the tomato after skinning and de-seeding. This is a very easy process that consists of a pot of boiling water, an ice water bath, and time. The ice bath is simply a bowl of ice water. Placing this next to the stove is essential as it help to reduce the cooktime of the tomato.

Remembering the first rule of vegetables, Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 14 May 2013 by tomatocasual.com

Wine Bag Tomato Planter

Photo Credit: Nifty Wine Carrier by Megan Elizabeth Morris used under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Photo Credit: Nifty Wine Carrier by Megan Elizabeth Morris used under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

I am always looking for a new type of container for my tomato plants.

I have tried upside down planters, concrete planters, bushel baskets, and even bags of potting soil but I had never tried a wine bag.

This idea came to me one day when I was at my local salvage place.

They had one wine bag they had gotten in a load of dog food. At first, they had no idea what it was but when I explained why there were four pockets, it was like an eureka moment.

After purchasing the bag, I took it home and admired my new planter. I could not wait to fill it with tomato plants. So once my local frost-free date had passed, I took out my wine bag to plant it.

To begin this process, Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 10 May 2013 by tomatocasual.com

Special Occasion Menu Item: Stuffed Grape Tomatoes

Photo Credit: Grape Tomatoes by Adam used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Photo Credit: Grape Tomatoes by Adam used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

By Steve Shetter

With our children growing up in the scouting family, we have spent many a nights in the woods.

Hence, our favorite little place to go is the Cub Scout camp in our little town.

After our son had put in his 16 years of scouting as a youth, the time had come to give him the Eagle Ceremony that he had earned.

In short, our sons’ first year as a scout, the ranger had been killed while on camp. The council had not had a chance to put a new ranger in since the tragedy so no one was allowed to camp.

We (the ranger and I and a few others) know that (call him Andy), Andy still patrols and keeps an eye on things. My wife and I had planned on our sons’ ceremony at the camp while we relied on our son to come up with what he wanted to dine on.

As expected, Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 06 April 2013 by tomatocasual.com

Hollowed Out Tomatoes-Causes and Cures

Photo Credit: Siesta by Jay Turner used under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Photo Credit: Siesta by Jay Turner used under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

A few years, I first became acquainted with hollowed out tomatoes in my garden space.

For the life of me, I could not figure out what was going on.

First I thought it was my little friend the tomato hornworm since I have seen them munch on the fruit before but I saw no proof of vegetative damage.

But one day, the culprit appeared and it was the tomato fruitworm.

The tomato fruitworm is a little stinker that is a brown, red, green, yellow or cream colored, hairy caterpillar that has pale stripes and/or black spots. It will eat leaves first and then will feast on the fruit. But since they are so polite and do not want to eat everything, they only eat the inside of the tomato leaving only the shell.

But where do these caterpillars come from and how does one control them organically. The two-pronged answer is as follows. First, the Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 28 March 2013 by tomatocasual.com

The Dos and Dont’s of Tomato Gardening

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Photo Credit: Tomato Plant - Extra Green by Steven Reynolds used under CC BY 2.0

Photo Credit: Tomato Plant – Extra Green by Steven Reynolds used under CC BY 2.0

By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

Tomatoes are one of the favorite vegetables not only eaten but also grown.

But a successful tomato garden does happen overnight and requires some work.

Below are a list of dos and dont’s for any tomato garden.

Following this advice will help you have a more successful and enjoyable gardening experience and tomato harvest.

Dos

• Plant the right type of tomato. Many gardeners do not understand tomato terminology and the different between tomato types. Tomatoes can either be determinate or indeterminate. A determinate tomato is one that grows to a certain height, flowers and produce fruit at one time. This type of tomato is great for container gardens since it will not need to be trellised Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 22 March 2013 by tomatocasual.com

Starting the Tomato Season Right

Photo Credit: Tomato Pot by Michelle Dyer used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Photo Credit: Tomato Pot by Michelle Dyer used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

I have lived by a motto that every Boy Scout knows and that is to “always be prepared.”

When it comes to the tomato garden, this means always having stakes, pots, Epsom salt and powdered milk available along with an all-purpose potting soil mix and fresh seeds.

While I typically save my seeds from year to year, sometimes I have to buy new stock.

Once I have all my supplies together, I can take an inventory of what I have and what I need. This gives me direction and helps me start off the season right.
In the past when I was low on flats or small containers to start my tomato seeds in, I created “newspaper” pots. These pots are easy to make and I have to admit a great way of keeping kids busy during the gloomy days of winter. Read the rest of this entry »

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