Happy Tomatoes. If your tomatoes could tell you one thing, it would be, 'Please, oh please don't refrigerate us!' Cold temperatures sap all the flavor from a tomato and turn the flesh unpleasantly mushy. Instead, store them at room temperature in a single layer, out of direct sunlight. Tomatoes: Beyond the salad. You can make quick and luscious summer pasta sauces with those ripe, lovely tomatoes. Peel, seed and roughly chop them. Saute some minced garlic in olive oil and add the tomatoes along with some fresh basil or parsley. Simmer just long enough to warm up the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and then toss with hot pasta and top with a sprinkling of cheese. Make variations on your sauce by adding some mushrooms, olives, capers, red pepper flakes, red wine, white beans, anchovies or sauteed sausage. Some other great uses for those abundant tomatoes: gazpacho, salsa and bruschetta.
Stay on top of your zucchini crop. If you turn your back on a zucchini plant, those little green squashes can go from petite to monstrous in what seems like a matter of minutes. Zucchini does taste best if you can pick it while it's still under six inches long. However, for the ones that grow to the size of your arm before you catch them, try hollowing them out and using them to hold dip for a veggie platter, or shred them and use them in zucchini breads, cakes, cookies, pies and cobblers.
Put up your zukes! In the end, your zucchini crop may get the better of you. When you have eaten all the squash you can stomach and your neighbors draw their blinds when they see you approaching with a menacing armload of green, it's time to freeze that zucchini. Simply shred it and pack it into heavy-duty resealable bags in recipe-size portions (2 cups is fairly standard.) If you've got a food processor, you can obliterate a bushel of zucchini in mere minutes. When you're ready for it, thaw it overnight in the fridge, squeeze out the excess liquid, and use it as you would fresh zucchini.