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VIEWTutorials & Tips

Enjoy the fruits of your labor all year long

Nothing says summer like ripe tomato slices with just a dash of salt. And no, it’s not your imagination—the tomatoes from your garden taste better than any found in stores. Now science can tell us why: a genetic mutation, common in store-bought tomatoes, reduces the amount of sugar and other tasty compounds in the fruit. No wonder tomatoes are the most popular crop among home gardeners.

Even if the supermarket tomatoes bred for mass consumption weren’t genetically different (some might say inferior), they are generally picked before peak ripeness (to allow for shipping time) and wouldn’t taste like tomatoes straight off the vine. The same is true of the berries and apples you grow yourself or gather from local orchards, co-ops or farmers’ markets—they are at their sweetest when you pluck them. This taste of just-picked, sun-ripened fruit is exactly the taste of summer that Weston’s harvest tools can help you save and savor for a true farm-to-table experience even in the winter months. Tomatoes that can take center stage on the plate come our way for no more than a few months in most parts of the country, and they inspire us to make the flavors of summer last into the fall and winter.

Tools for your tomato harvest 

While those plates of fresh tomato slices are a summer-only delight, the taste of garden-fresh, vine-ripened tomatoes can be captured to enjoy for months to come. Create a fresh tomato purée for use in sauces, soups or salsa with the Weston Tomato Press, an affordable manual tomato press that also works beautifully for making applesauce, baby food, fresh juices, jam and more. If you’re looking for a stainless steel version of this versatile tool to handle tomato processing and more, the Weston Metal Tomato Strainer is a great choice. For those seeking a truly hands-on, artisanal experience, the Stainless Steel Cone Strainer comes with a wooden pestle to help process not only tomatoes, but berries, apples and potatoes as well. If you’re making large batches of sauce, seedless jam or salsa, consider an electric tomato press and sauce maker like the Weston Deluxe Electric Tomato Strainer, which boasts a powerful 250-watt motor to save time when preserving and canning.

Food mills for smoother purées

To make jams and purées free of seeds and skins, a quality food mill is a simple but essential tool. The versatile Weston Stainless Steel Food Mill is also great for preparing soup, mashed potatoes and baby food. For big batches or just to save time and fatigue, consider our Electric Food Mill.

Essentials for canning and peeling

Canned tomatoes from the supermarket can’t hold a candle to those you’ve grown and put up yourself. Whether you're a novice or experienced canner, use the Deluxe 5 Piece Canning Kit, which includes tongs, a wide-mouth funnel, a magnetic lid lifter, a jar wrench, and a jar lifter to make canning easier. And if you’ve finished processing your tomato harvest and are moving on to apples, the Weston Apple Peeler is a great tool for getting skins off quickly and easily.

 Seal summer's abundance

Canning was invented more than two hundred years ago, and it remains a tried-and-true method of preservation. In the canning process, the preserved food is sterilized by heat to kill microorganisms—that’s why canned foods have a long shelf life. Vacuum sealing is a relatively new technology, and it’s only recently that professional grade vacuum sealers have been readily available for consumers to purchase. Sealing liquids or liquid-rich foods can be tricky, but by taking a few steps to minimize mess, most vacuum sealers can accommodate. A better option might be a vacuum sealer designed for sealing sauces and purées. Or if you frequently preserve liquids and other fragile foods, consider upgrading to a commercial grade chamber vacuum sealer like the Weston Pro-2500 Chamber Vacuum Sealer.

Visit Weston's Farm to Table resource page for the latest products, tips and recipes to help you bring the farm to your table.



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