A Sad News of Rotting Tomatoes

A glimpse of news, roughly 20 tons of rotting tomatoes was aired via 24 Oras. It was happening in Navarcan, Ilocos Sur. It was said that a certain company, which was not mentioned, ordered too much for the season. The end result, tons and tons of red ripe tomatoes were rotting on delivery trucks. Some were not even picked.

Perhaps the farmers entered to a contract-growing agreement. Manufacturing company pays for the goods before it is even produce. In many cases, they provide the planting materials, fertilizers, necessary training and consultancy services. In return, they can assure steady supply of the commodity they want.

This kind of arrangement is also beneficial to farmers. It is a sure income source without worrying about where to sell. However, their income compared to quantity and quality is usually low.

Tomatoes. Letting them rot on the ground and become fertilizer is the last thing to do. First, the manufacturer who ordered the commodity was responsible for it. They should have converted them to shelf stable product. I am quite sure they have the capability but encountered a little shortcomings.

Next were the farmers. They could have done something about it. Processing them to tomato sauce, paste, juice, whole tomato in can is easy enough. Well, if they know beforehand the situation, they will surely contact other buyers, not process.

We are talking 20 tons here. It is not easy to process them at home levels. What I suggests to them is form a cooperative entity that will be responsible for processing. Any cooperative with a good core team can easily succeed. Base on my own experience, they can quickly source capital/equipment grants from government offices and NGO’s.

They should have not let the tomatoes rot even if the contractor had already pay the cost.

Saute' Squash -Tomato Sauce

My recipe today was very easy to prepare. I looked for vegetables in fridge. I saw this fruits and leaves of squash. I mixed them and put some sauce! I add also some condiments for a greater taste. Some of us, I think, will include a can of sardines instead because it is cheaper! I can’t do the same because my hubby is on diet.

Enjoy my new recipe. I am sure you can do it within few minutes….

Ingredients:

1/4 kilo squash, cubes
1 cup squash young leaves
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup chicken meat, sliced
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
ground pepper
salt to taste
vegetable oil
1 cup water

Cooking Procedures:

Saute garlic and onion. Add chicken meat and cook until golden brown. Continue stirring. Add squash and water. Cover the pan. Boil until squash is tender. Add tomato sauce and season with ground pepper and salt to taste. Add the squash leaves. Cover the pan and turn off the fire. The remaining heat is enough to cook the recently added leaves. Serve hot!

saute squash tomato

Lumpiang Touge with Okra Tomato Sauce

Ingredients:

1 cup mongo sprout or togue
1/2 cup carrots, thinly sliced
1/2 cup camote, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chicken meat, cubes
1 bulb onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp ground pepper
salt to taste
10 pcs lumpia wrapper

Sauce:

4 okra
8 ripe tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bulb onion, chopped
1 spoon sugar
1/4 tsp ground pepper
3 spoons vinegar
1/4 tsp atswete or anato powder
2 cups water

Cooking Instructions:

Wash all vegetable ingredients. Saute garlic and onion. Add chicken and mix until golden brown. Add vegetables and season with ground pepper and salt to taste. Cover the pan and cook for three minutes. Cool and drain. Put in lumpia wrapper and roll. Fry lumpia until golden brown. Serve it with okra tomato sauce.

How to Make Okra Tomato Sauce:

Boil okra and tomato in water. Extract the juice. Add garlic, onion, vinegar, atswete, sugar and pepper. Boil for few minutes. Maybe thicken with cornstarch.

lumpia touge okra tomato sauce

Assuring a Clostridium botulinum Free Low Acid Food

I found this short paragraph from the, “Complete Home Canning Guide”, interesting. See my reaction can be found after the duplicate.

If Clostridium botulinum bacteria survive and grow inside a sealed jar of food, they can produce a poisonous toxin. Even a taste of food containing this toxin can be fatal. Boiling food 10 minutes at altitudes below 1,000 feet destroys this poison when it is present. For altitudes at and above 1,000 ft, add one additional minute per 1,000 feet additional elevation. Caution: To prevent the risk of botulism, low-acid and tomato foods not canned according to the recommendations should be boiled as above, even if you detect no signs of spoilage. All low-acid food canned according to the approved recommendations may be eaten without boiling them when you are sure of all the following:

1)  Food was processed in a pressure canner
2) Gauge of the pressure canner was accurate
3) Up-to-date researched process times and pressures were used for the size of jar, style of pack, and kind of food being canned.
4) The process time and pressure recommended for sterilizing the food at your altitude was followed.

5) Jar lid is firmly sealed and concave
6) Nothing has leaked from the jar

7) No liquid spurts out when the jar is opened.
8) No unnatural or “off” odors can be detected.

Numbers one to four can only be known and assure if:

a) The manufacturer is willing and will honestly include each product processing information. Printed legibly as part of label or on a separate sheet. The separate information sheet is included as part of the product package and could be read by customer before purchase.

b) Regulatory authorities is regularly monitoring the manufacturer’s activities and assuring its conformity to set standards.

c) The company has an advanced and efficient QA and RD division.

Items 5 and 6 could be easily inspected by buyers. Anyone cannot go wrong if he look closely and diligently.

The lasts number 7 and 8 could only be detected upon opening the jar which requires paying for the item first. Unlucky if the liquid spurts and unnatural color and odors are detected. Still consider yourself lucky if you have not tasted it first.

Regarding the relationship between altitudes and boiling times, I have never studied it during college and have never applied it in actual. I think it needs a deeper digging.

Breaking the Giant and Unknown Tomato

Two days after this giant and unknown tomato was handed to me. Over 50 percent skin has became orange. The green color has became so light that it is barely perceptible. It is still firm to touch.

ripening giant tomatoFive days after this giant and unknown tomato variety was handed to me. The color is now more of red orange with light yellow color patches. It is still firm to touch but not as firm as before. I think it is the right time to break it open and serve it as food for mankind.

red orange yellow giant tomatoThe seeds are not as many as I thought. It has a relatively thick rind that encapsulates the seed and small amount of juice. The rind extends inwards  and which resemble a tree like branches.

slices of unkown giant tomatoAnd for the final touch, my wife used it to make enseladang manga at kamatis instead of the regular market bought tomatoes. Yes! its taste is less prominent but the lack of flavor is being compensated by other ingredients.

enseladang manga with tomato giant

Please Help Me Identify This Giant Tomato!

I realized that my home grown tomatoes gave too sour fruits, too sour than those we usually buy from public market. Eating it raw was less enjoyable.

rare ripe cracked giant tomatoOh! Don’t get confused. The rare ripe and cracked tomato on table is completely different from what I am referring in previous paragraph. This tomato is bland tasting. It simply lacks astringency when green and too short of sourness when red ripe. It is too big for a regular tomato. The average size is a little bigger than a tennis ball. The shape is like a mixture of diamante variety and a squash type tomato. The closer match is persimmon. If it got an orange color then I would have thought it …. It is crunchier than any other tomatoes I have eaten.

giant green tomato on palmIt was not the first time a tomato this big landed on my palm. People around me are saying, it is the variety being used as fast food burger filling. What they are saying make sense. If you examine the burger, the tomato slice almost covers the width of patty. Plus, it has the same familiar bland taste.

The greenhouse of nearby university planted this tomato variety before. It became talk of the town due to its distinguishing big size. However, its popularity was short live. It is big, crunchy but the flavor is too far from people expectations.

As usual, I tried looking for its identity over the internet but failed. Please help me! If I remembered it correct, this variety came from Israel.

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