I'm so happy with my garden right now. The tomatoes are geting ripe! I planted for a fall garden of beans and cucumbers, as the ones I planted in spring are pretty much done right now. It had been really, really hot, but last weekend we got some nice rains. And that lowered the temperatures a bit. So what do I do with this wealth of tomatoes?
I got myself a food dehydrator! First I dried a whole bunch of basil leaves from the herb garden. It takes about 18 hours or so, with my dehydrator, to dry those wet basil leaves. Then, I cut up some of the tomatoes and put them on the dehydrator screens, sprinkled with the fresh dried basil and some sea salt, to give them some flavor.
I have four trays for the dehydrator, and it sits on top of the clothes dryer. It's not too noisy, and I just fill it with fruits and vegetables to make dried snacks and un-sun-dried tomatoes.
I put some of them in olive oil, and they turned out really well. Pretty soon I'll make some spicy tomato chutney, too. Storing the summertime harvest for later, when the tomatoes are just a fond memory, makes me feel very productive!