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SLB

Desperately Seeking Doohicky

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People, I have had it.  Specifically, I have had it with trying to get heirloom tomatoes home from the market.  Or, Brandywines.  Here in NYC, they cost basically fortune (**not the Brandywines).  Setting aside whether the "heirlooms" are worth it as a general matter -- we KNOW that it's not worth it when you get home and they got bruised or busted in transit.

 

How on earth does a person get soft-skinned tomatoes home intact???  I always use a bag with a bona fide foot in its construction, and I also try hard not to put anything else in it, or even jostle it.  But it never fails -- one or more is bruised or busted, leaking its wonder-juice everywhere, and requiring me to basically eat them as soon as I get home.

 

It may be that if you place them carefully in your car you don't have this problem.  But I don't place them in a car, I'm either walking or getting on a bus or a train.  What in the world are people doing to get home with whole healthy tomatoes? 

 

[Should I this in the NYC thread???]

 

To be honest, I also have this problem often enough with apples.  I just don't care as much, because I can salvage a bruised apple to my satisfaction, for the most part.  Also, they are not as expensive!

 

But this tomato thing is ridiculous.  There is so much crap in this world, there HAS to be a gadget for this.  I feel like other people must know something I don't.  Because this is insanity! 

 

Help!  Please! 

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There are sealable plastic containers in almost every size and shape imaginable. I expect you could find one to suit the size of tomato you're hauling.

Plastic is less than ideal from the sustainability perspective, but if you're using the non-disposable kind and use them until they fall apart, it's not so bad.


“What is called sound economics is very often what mirrors the needs of the respectably affluent.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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4 minutes ago, chromedome said:

There are sealable plastic containers in almost every size and shape imaginable. I expect you could find one to suit the size of tomato you're hauling.

Plastic is less than ideal from the sustainability perspective, but if you're using the non-disposable kind and use them until they fall apart, it's not so bad.

Yeah, I like that rigid container idea... but it can also be in the form of a cardboard box.  I saw this thing in Japan where they were selling $20 strawberries (each berry was $20) - it came in a rigid cardboard box filled with that plastic bedding material that you see around Easter time, and the strawberry was nestled in there... granted, strawberries are a lot lighter and so easier to protect one by one, but I think something to that idea would work well.

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sometimes the "high end" fruits in our market are on a plastic-tray-on-a-box - like:

https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=molded+pulp+fruit+trays

 

one would have to beg them from the store - they are sold in package qtys of a billion....

 

beefsteaks get get quite large - you may have to home cobble something up like plastic flower pots in a corrugated box....

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OK step back and look at how wine is shipped. Corrugated stuff or the cute wrapper you see on Aisian pears. Done ALL THE TIME. No need to reinvent the wheel. breathe. Worst case - tomato sauce - not funny I know.

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41 minutes ago, heidih said:

OK step back and look at how wine is shipped. Corrugated stuff or the cute wrapper you see on Aisian pears. Done ALL THE TIME. No need to reinvent the wheel. breathe. Worst case - tomato sauce - not funny I know.

How about popping the tomatoes into Asian pear sleeves and then  into pantyhose and tie the ends. The tomato snake can then nestled into a hard sided container. I dare you to do this in New York City and not get laughed out of existence. But I bet it would work. 😂😂😂
 

Edited to add: it is best if you step out of the pantyhose before attempting this.


Edited by Anna N (log)
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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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27 minutes ago, Anna N said:

How about popping the tomatoes into Asian pear sleeves and then  into pantyhose and tie the ends. The tomato snake can then nestled into a hard sided container. I dare you to do this in New York City and not get laughed out of existence. But I bet it would work. 😂😂😂
 

Edited to add: it is best if you step out of the pantyhose before attempting this.

 

Please... I've seen much more interesting things on the street than that!  No one would even look twice at a tomato snake...

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I was imagining tomato "hammocks" made of netting that allowed them to swing without bumping into each other, or compressing each other from weight, with said hammocks strung across a frame in a box. I think the pantyhose / tomato snake idea is more compact and might be more effective.


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16 hours ago, Anna N said:

How about popping the tomatoes into Asian pear sleeves and then  into pantyhose and tie the ends. The tomato snake can then nestled into a hard sided container. I dare you to do this in New York City and not get laughed out of existence. But I bet it would work. 😂😂😂
 

Edited to add: it is best if you step out of the pantyhose before attempting this.

 

 

Do they still make pantyhose? I note the current fashion is to go barelegged, regardless of how unacquainted your legs are with the sun. But I digress.

 

I have a woven seagrass-type basket that is about twice as wide as it is tall that is my farmers' market basket. Allows me to carry veggies without stacking/crushing anything. I will usually pay for tomatoes, or other delicate fruits/veggies, and tell the guy I'll come back and get them, then pick them up last so they're on top. But I am going and coming via car. I can see it would not work on a crowded NYC subway.

 

I'm saying the tomato snake ought to work. Photos if you try it, please.

 


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I used to sling the cantaloupes on the vine with pantyhose parts. We get donations from retiring gardeners and they often use pantyhose to tie small stakes to plants. They do not break down and are gentle.I always imagine the guys waiting for wife to curse about a run in her stocking so they could zip over and squirrel the offending stocking away ;) And yes they exist  https://www.neimanmarcus.com/c/womens-clothing-clothing-lingerie-shapewear-hosiery-cat9860744?ecid=NMPN__XX&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI15nJ7YP55AIVsCCtBh2QMwDvEAAYAyAAEgJPX_D_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds


Edited by heidih (log)

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On 9/29/2019 at 5:00 PM, KennethT said:

I saw this thing in Japan where they were selling $20 strawberries (each berry was $20)


I apologize. I realize this is off-topic and I generally try to avoid doing that. But I can't just let this thread roll on like you didn't even say that. A (as in, one) $20 strawberry? Really?

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It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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29 minutes ago, Tri2Cook said:


I apologize. I realize this is off-topic and I generally try to avoid doing that. But I can't just let this thread roll on like you didn't even say that. A (as in, one) $20 strawberry? Really?

Yep. A. Single. Strawberry.

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Posted (edited)

Thank you for all of these good ideas!  Earnest and otherwise.

 

Because it just so happens, I have a WHOLE LOT of tights that I don't seem to ever wear anymore, and could stand to be repurposed . . . .

 

ETA:  Shelby, I think that bag could be rigged with some small cardboard pieces surrounding the tomato sleeve, to keep it from knocking against the cucumbers and other goodies.  You'd still have to deal with vertical friction, but tissue paper or anything easy could probably ameliorate that problem.  


Edited by SLB (log)
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2 hours ago, SLB said:

Thank you for all of these good ideas!  Earnest and otherwise.

 

Because it just so happens, I have a WHOLE LOT of tights that I don't seem to ever wear anymore, and could stand to be repurposed . . . .

 

ETA:  Shelby, I think that bag could be rigged with some small cardboard pieces surrounding the tomato sleeve, to keep it from knocking against the cucumbers and other goodies.  You'd still have to deal with vertical friction, but tissue paper or anything easy could probably ameliorate that problem.  

 

When I mail tomatoes to people I love I use boxes that I've saved from ordering canning jars--segregated with cardboard into 12 sections.  My point is, yes, I think cardboard would be a great idea along with packing of some sort.

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When I was still able to shop at the farmer's market, I had cloth tote bags with cheap oval or rectangular baskets shoved down into the bottom, lined with crumbled tissue paper.  Tomatoes, peaches, plums, berries, breads and rolls, etc.  

I know I got some at Target and a couple at the dollar store, which is where I bought the cloth totes. 

I use a lot of tissue paper when I ship delicate things and it is very cheap at the dollar stores.

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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Weirdly, I don't seem to have this problem when porting stuff home from the USQ greenmarket.

 

I usually try to rearrange the stuff I've bought so that the hardier veg and fruit act as a cradle for the stuff more susceptible to damage. 

 

Also, I tend to buy heirlooms which aren't super soft.


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This may or may not be practical, but according to the law of physics, this should work very well.

 

Get a big container and fill it with water.

 

Put all your tomatoes in the water bath, makes no difference how big or how small the tomatoes are. Once you have all your tomatoes in the container, fill the container to the very top with water and close the lid very tight. Your tomatoes cannot bruise each other, doesn't matter how big or how small and how fast or slow you travel  or if you slam on the brake.

 

Tomato in water submersed has almost no weight.

 

dcarch 

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37 minutes ago, dcarch said:

This may or may not be practical, but according to the law of physics, this should work very well.

 

Get a big container and fill it with water.

 

Put all your tomatoes in the water bath, makes no difference how big or how small the tomatoes are. Once you have all your tomatoes in the container, fill the container to the very top with water and close the lid very tight. Your tomatoes cannot bruise each other, doesn't matter how big or how small and how fast or slow you travel  or if you slam on the brake.

 

Tomato in water submersed has almost no weight.

 

dcarch 

 

I like it, but wouldn't the tomatoes absorb water through their skin and split, like they do in the rain?

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1 hour ago, dcarch said:

This may or may not be practical, but according to the law of physics, this should work very well.

 

Get a big container and fill it with water.

 

Put all your tomatoes in the water bath, makes no difference how big or how small the tomatoes are. Once you have all your tomatoes in the container, fill the container to the very top with water and close the lid very tight. Your tomatoes cannot bruise each other, doesn't matter how big or how small and how fast or slow you travel  or if you slam on the brake.

 

Tomato in water submersed has almost no weight.

 

dcarch 

Kinda like the dumbest thing I've ever heard in terms of transporting tomatoes home from the farmer's market.


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Last night, I took out a large container, filled it with water and put about 20 very ripe tomatoes from my garden, some very big and some very small. I closed the contained with a lid. Then I shook and shook the container the hardest I could. I shook again for about another 5 more times. 

 

Now, I don't have huge muscles, but in the past few weeks, I have had to relocate and transported a clothes washer and a dishwasher all by myself with no problem. The shaking I did to the tomatoes were more violent than any deep potholes you would run into if you had to ship the tomatoes by car.

 

Well I am happy to report that there is no damage to any tomatoes, not a scratch, not any sign of cracking or bruising.

 

But I am not surprised. It's just very simple physics.

 

I assume that if you have to ship a few hundred eggs over rough roads, the same method will work.

 

Time for a BLT :B!

 

dcarch

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