I really only enjoy fresh, raw tomatoes in the summer. I love them straight from the vine, sliced, salted, and used as a side dish or piled high on my sandwich.
As a little girl, my pawpaw was famous for his tomatoes. I like to think that tomato growing is in my blood. I am sure that he is looking down from heaven, rooting me on.
So here's the scoop on my beautiful tomatoes life this summer:
Have covered my windows sills to blush, thanks to the lovely birds that were enjoying them a little too much
My sink ...
And my table ...
To the point that I had to consult a little Blue Book from the 1960’s/70’s
and filled my countertop with supplies to can tomatoes ...
They filled hot boiling pots ...
Then cold water to shed their skins ...
They were cored and chopped
Only to be boiled down again for a little while
They were stuffed in hot jars with a little salt on top. Sometimes a lot of salt. (I am still learning, my friends.)
To be boiled again for about 35-45 minutes depending on the size of jar in a water bath
Once they finished, and I wiped the sweat from my brow from all that boiling, they were ready for their close up.
Next, they joined the rest of their family members, all tall and proud on my pantry shelf - 8 quarts and 10 pints.
Some made it to sandwiches and biscuits.
While others preferred being made into salsa.
The salsa, however, seems to be flying out of my house even after the fact that my husband refused to try it. I sweetly announced that I was not buying any salsa and that we would be eating what I made. The next thing I know, I am putting yet another jar of salsa in the fridge. Some dark haired, good looking man keeps eating it, swearing up and down that it is the best salsa he has ever eaten while demanding that I keep a stock of scoops in the pantry at all times.
Overall, we had about 13 tomato plants – 9 Better Boy and 4 Romas. Not a huge crop, but enough for us, well, really me. Ken really doesn’t like fresh tomatoes, but loves his salsa.
A table full would make about 6 quarts or 10 pints of tomatoes for us. It took about 3 hours in order to accomplish this. A lot of hard work, but this winter, I will be thanking myself while I am making soups, chilies, and sauces.
There you have it! A post dedicated to the life-cycle of a tomato in the Daniels’s house!