Mr. Fashion Statement

The story begins with this:  My tomatoes are out of control. Where are the grasshoppers when I need them most? Why aren’t the deer jumping the fence to get into the garden?

Normally when I can tomatoes, I raw pack them whole or cut just enough to fit into the jars. There’s a lot of liquid that cooks out of them but it’s flavorful and I love adding it all to soups and stews. Since I was on slow speed for a few weeks, the tomatoes had been piling up. I had three five gallon buckets of tomatoes that HAD to be canned yesterday. I had put it off as long as I could. I made the mistake of going into the garden and noticing that the vines were covered and had to be picked. Lucky for me, one corner was too muddy from my watering so I didn’t even look at those but I picked a fourth five gallon bucket full of tomatoes. I can’t even carry them in when they’re that heavy so I had to wait for Vince to bring them inside. Most of yesterday was spent putting up tomatoes. Knowing that putting them up whole and raw would probably fill every empty jar in the house, I decided to stew them down with peppers and onions (since I have those coming out my ears too).

The ones that were the prettiest for slicing, I shared with friends, as well as about a gallon of Porter tomatoes. These are one of my favorite tomatoes for growing and eating and juicing but they’re a bit small for peeling and canning so I try to eat and share most of those.

 

I filled my two big stock pots with tomatoes and stewed them down and end up with 14 quarts of stewed tomatoes yesterday morning and finished another 14 quarts last night.  I was so tired the last batch of 7 quarts stayed in the canner overnight . . couldn’t even wait for it to cool down before I had to go to bed.

Last night I told Vince . . I’m happy with my tomato crop and if we don’t get any more, I’m good! 

This afternoon he had been out cutting the grass around the garden and he called me outside. On my way out the door, I had to laugh.

Mr. Fashion Statement

Mr. Fashion Statement

In the evenings, he’s often so dirty and stinky that he strips down at the back door and leaves his clothes hanging on the post so that when I’m ready to wash them, I’ll just get them from there and not stink up the laundry room.  Look at that . . same exact clothes he was wearing  yesterday — green shirt and blue shorts! He’s so funny!

Tomatoes

Tomatoes

He was so proud of himself . . he had picked the tomatoes! Ugh . . not more tomatoes. I told him . . let’s put them in that bucket and go leave them on the neighbor’s porch and then we’ll run!

Tomatoes

Tomatoes

They’re some pretty ones but really . . I’ve about had all the tomatoes I want to deal with for a while.  One thing for certain: Other than eating a few of these, I’m not touching them til Monday, and then there will be enough to pick to make a whole canner load again (14 quarts). Will someone remind me to plant less than 10 tomato plants next year?

Comments

  1. 1

    Kathy says

    You have my sympathy and my envy. Growing up in the south, I remember those days, hot kitchen, no end of garden vegetables to put up. Now I live in Alaska and I’d trade my sewing machine for one of those luscious tomatoes. I’ll send you rhubarb, carrots, potatoes and cabbages, or fresh salmon but the vegetables won’t be ready for another couple of weeks!

    • 2.1

      Judy Laquidara says

      That’s not how I make tomato paste but some folks might do it that way. I’ve already put up enough tomato powder to last us and Chad through a couple of years. You never know when I might decide to stop planting tomatoes! :)

      I do use a lot of tomato powder when I want the tomato flavor but not the liquid. It’s especially good in salad dressings and gravy.

  2. 3

    Joan says

    You could always feed them to the chickens for a treat……………….for both them & you!

    • 3.1

      Judy L. says

      The chickens get all of the peelings and leftovers – seeds and hard spots. I freeze it all and give it to them as tomato Popsicles on hot days.

  3. 4

    says

    If I were closer, I’d be happy to take them off your hands. I ended up buying a box of tomatoes today to can…mine just aren’t producing that many. I probably should have fertilized the plants earlier this summer.

  4. 5

    says

    Two summers ago I was in your position and couldn’t stand tomatoes by the end of the harvesting. This year I’d love if they would grow and ripen. I’m wanting to can juice and make salsa and planned very carefully. My son kept telling me that I was planting too many–only 12 plants this year–and now I’m wishing I had planted more. The cooler nights and sometimes cool days are slowing down growth and ripening. Enjoy! You may have a year like ours when what you get isn’t too much. It’s frustrating for me because I have a teenage son that is growing and eating and growing some more and I have had a large garden for the last 2 years to can and freeze from. I planted a large garden this year but it just doesn’t want to get busy producing.

    • 5.1

      says

      You never know. That’s why I always try to can tomatoes especially, to last through two years, just in case we have a bad year. Maybe yours will begin producing real soon.

  5. 6

    Karen says

    I wish I was closer, I’d love to take some off your hands. There’s nothing like good home-grown tomatoes.

  6. 7

    says

    You harvested all that from 10 plants?! Goodness! Last year I had 18 plants by the time I started getting a really good crop, we had our first freeze, and I ended up with a ton of green tomatoes. I’m really glad the invasion of grasshoppers bypassed you this year!

  7. 8

    Quilterbee says

    Do you make up spaghetti sauce and freeze it? Pioneer Woman made some up with ground beef,canned whole tomatoes ( fresh ones would be better ) and spices . She then froze it in zip lock bags. When I was in my twenties, many many years ago, I used to make spaghetti sauce and freeze it. I’ve never canned anything but my sister used to make jam. It was soooooo good.

  8. 9

    says

    Your tomatoes are so beautiful. How do you keep the stink bugs from stinging them ugly? We have to use carbaryl dust but I had pesticide poisoning in June so I’m a little leary of that now.

  9. 10

    says

    Oh MY! What I wouldn’t give for those tomatoes right now! I can’t get enough to can. If we were neighbors I’d can those for you though, so you could rest some. You need rest to heal!

  10. 11

    sonya says

    your tomatoes are beautiful!!I would love to have a few boxes of them :)The south grows some of the tastiest tomatoes!!!!

  11. 12

    says

    I am jealous, I didn’t grow tomatoes this year since we have been traveling all summer and I am having surgery Monday. I had to slow down on the garden. My limit is 30 jars and I freeze as many as I can. I know that feeling about I cannot look at another tomato.

  12. 13

    Regina says

    WOW! How many pairs of blue shorts and how many green shirts does he own? (oh – and that’s a lot of tomatoes!!!)

  13. 14

    Theresa says

    You would not believe how much my coworkers and I pay for tomatoes like these at the farm truck that comes to Goddard. If only there was a local store or restaurant you could supply– and make some cash, too.