You’ll have to forgive the ugly five-gallon buckets in the photo above – it took two hours to pick all this after we’d been gone for the weekend and I didn’t have any time to make the haul look pretty.
Though I’m not sure what I would’ve done, anyway, as each of those buckets holds between 20 to 30 pounds of tomatoes! Even the black basket holds 25 pounds…sheesh, that’s a lot of tomatoes. This is probably the height of our season – there are still a number of tomatoes that will ripen over the next couple of weeks, but not this many, thank goodness.
I’m grateful, but I’m also starting to get tired of seeing tomatoes in my sleep after putting up the last 100 pounds. Hope I don’t have full-on tomato nightmares with this next 100!
The number one question I get whenever I harvest a bunch of tomatoes is:
What do you do with all those tomatoes?
My answer? A lot! We eat them, of course and then I dry, freeze and can them.
Here’s what I’ve made so far and what I plan to put up over the next month:
- Addictive Tomato Chutney – all done, we’re set for the coming year!
- Roasted Tomato Sauce – 10 quarts are in the freezer, I’ll need at least another 15 – maybe 20
- My Favorite Salsa for Canning – all done with 26 pints (+ 8 from last season = 34 for the year)
- Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil – 1 quart done, I’ll need another 2 or 3 (have to finish the plums first though…)
- Pizza Sauce – all done for the year with 8 pts, 4 12-oz, and 11 1/2 pts.(I add dried Italian seasonings to the Blue Bk’s “All Purpose Seasoned Tomato Sauce”)
- “Rotel” type tomatoes and chilies – I’d like 10 to 12 pts. for this year (sharing the recipe this week: update- here’s the recipe)
- BBQ sauce (Ball Blue Book recipe)- a few 1/2 pts. and some full pints – maybe 5
- Canned Bruschetta Topping – 7 1/2-pints for those winter months where I’m craving tomatoes…
- I may can some quarts of Pasta Sauce, though we like our roasted sauce so much that it’s always our first choice.
- Diced tomatoes (basic Ball Blue Book canned tomatoes to use throughout the year) – I use all the tomatoes I have left to get as many pints and quarts as I can.
Some of the highlights from the harvest are the “Cuore di bue” paste tomatoes (pictured left above) which look like little pumpkins and have a great flavor; the huge amount of Italian plums we’re harvesting from our own trees this year (first time we’ve had more than a handful!); and our sweet grape tomatoes that everyone loves, but I lost the tag and dont’ know the variety. Sigh.
I’m really going to start my seeds again this next season – this is but one result of buying most of my starts this year. The others being mislabeled plants (I’ve got red Brandywines instead of the lovely pink-purple variety) and four plants of a nasty tomato called “Champion” that I’ve never grown – and never will again.
Are you harvesting large amounts, or are you at the end of the season?
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