Preparing for the Future...

Tomato powder is an extremely versatile product, and stored properly, it will last up to 25 years.  Add one part water to one part powder and get tomato paste. Add more water and some extra ingredients for spaghetti sauce, salsa and pizza sauce. For a healthy drink, mix tomato powder with water and apple juice - add in carrots, beets, celery, lettuce, parsley, spinach and a splash of pineapple juice. Modify those ingredients, and you have tomato soup.

All the ingredients make a well balanced and versatile portfolio when times are tough. Storing up food and storing up the right investments are both forms of preparing for the future...but to panic in the middle of the process, or to miss an ingredient can leave the recipe a mess!

What to do with all the extra garden tomatoes? Here's what the Stallsmith family does with their homegrown haul:

1. Ripen the tomatoes. The fruit does not need to be on the vine to ripen. Late in the season, we take the green tomatoes and place on card board in a dark, cool, dry space.

2. Next we strain them down to a meaty liquid .

3. We boil down the liquid, almost to a paste consistency.

4. Then we place the paste on trays to freeze.

5. Next, the trays go in the freeze dryer. This takes the air pressure down 5 times higher than normal, and drops the temperature to 40 degrees below zero. Then, pressure is let off, while heating up to 117 degrees, and water is pulled out of the food. 

6. In the end, it comes out like a brick of tomato, which we grind down to a fine powder. 

7. Lastly, we place the powder in bags with air eaters and seal them up.

Remember, don't panic in the process! Stay calm and let the ingredients percolate together to make a future delight.

Sincerely yours,

Mark Stallsmith

CLU ChFC Chartered Special Needs Consultant (ChSNC)

Masters Degree in Financial Services and planning (MSFS)

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