Tomato Land

It’s all your fault that I have too many tomatoes. Six years ago I read Tomatoland by Barry Estabrook, based on somebody’s recommendation on the trail.  That made me want to grow my own tomatoes in the worst way.  That led me to straw bales which had led me to today; tomatoes are taking over my kitchen!

This past weekend I tried to make a dent. First I made salsa for the freezer (2 jars):

  • 4 cups diced, fresh tomatoes (Roma) – I didn’t peel them because I used an immersion blender after the salsa cooked down
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 chopped loco peppers – didn’t seed them so I could keep the heat
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2-1 Tbs. cayenne pepper
  • 4 Tbs. chopped cilantro

That didn’t make a big enough dent so then I made Tomato Veggie soup in the slow cooker:

  • 3 cups diced tomatoes – again left the skins on
  • 2 cup water
  • 1 ½ cupsw green beans, cut into bit-sizes
  • 1 cup diced potato
  • 1 cup diced turnit
  • 1 cup chopped cabbage
  • 4 Tbs. cooked onion (sautéed w/ the garlic)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ green pepper, diced
  • 2 bouillon cubes (I used vegetarian cubes)
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Everything into the slow cooker, on low for about 8 hours.

Then today I came home and found another batch of ripe tomatoes on my vines. Help!

What do you like to do with excess garden produce?

40 thoughts on “Tomato Land”

  1. There is no such thing as excess garden produce! I know that’s easy for me to say, I’m retired so have lots of time to put things up for later use. But I do end up giving away lots of veggies to neighbors and friends who don’t grow them. A few years ago I planted a whole row of what I thought was flat leaf parsley; it turned out to be celery. Now, how much celery can you use? The local food shelf was grateful for the donation.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. This is the first year in a long while but no one has brought in excess zucchini that I’ve been able to enjoy. If anybody on the trail has more zucchini than they need you know who to call.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    I make tomato soup and can it. With warm weather having returned the ripe tomatoes have returned. Over the weekend I will probably be peeling, chopping and canning tomatoes, too. I make pasta sauce and freeze it as well.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I am a produce gardening failure. I have never gotten an excess of anything. Dog ate the squash when they were golf ball sized squash-to-be, carrots never even got to the “baby carrot” size (I suspect I did not thin them enough), we did okay with the cucumbers – shared some of those with neighbors and made a few cucumber/blueberry smoothies. Rhubarb is one that can get away from me – that I dice up and freeze so I can bake with it in winter when I need a taste of summer.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. We have 40 jars of pesto in the freezer, and I believe we have enough basil left in the garden for 16-18 more jars. I will have a final tally tonight after our last pesto fest. We won’t need to grow basil next year.

    We pickled green beans over the weekend, and I turn our paste tomatoes into an Italian style sauce crom a recipe in the Ball canning book. Our first musk melon is ripe and it is breakfast this morning.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Each jar of pesto has two cups of very firmly packed (read that as mightily stuffed) basil leaves, so multiply that by 60 and you can imagine how much basil we grew.


      1. tomato butt was about tomatoes that were left over and left out to the point they kinda came apart in your hand when you picked them up and his sister was bending over and the story went on from there

        Liked by 1 person

  5. We’re harvesting our garden and our friend Walken’s, partly anyway. I’ve been taking bags of cherry tomatoes and/or zucchini to everyone in my path – banker, receptionist at my mom’s nursing home, and the food shelf is just a few blocks away – as PJ noted, they love getting this stuff

    I have a recipe for Spiced Tomato Jam that I made yesterday:
    5-1/2 # fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and cut into large chunks
    2 lemons, very thinly sliced and seeds removed
    3 c. sugar
    1/2 c. honey
    1/2 c. cider vinegar
    1/2 c. water
    1 tsp. pickling (kosher) salt
    1/2 tsp. each: allspice, ground cloves, ginger, and cinnamon
    3 sticks cinnamon

    1. Combine first 7 ingredients in large stainless-steel pot. Let stand for an hour at room temp. stirring occasionally.
    2. Stir in spices and let stand 15 minutes.
    3. Bring to a boil over med-high heat, stirring occas. Add cinnamon sticks (cheesecloth bag?) when mixture begins to boil. Continue to boil steadily, stirring frequently, till thickened, 40-50 minutes. Stir constantly toward the end to prevent scorching.
    4. Discard cinnamon sticks and ladle into half-pint jars as usual…

    [I don’t always peel and seed the tomatoes, and it turns out fine. I blend it up a bit with so it’s still a little chunky, though.]

    It’s from Dori Sanders’ Country Cookbook: Recipes and stories from the family farm stand, which is a delightful read anyway…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Raspberries go into the freezer, and I make jam when the weather gets cold. Usually people strain out some of the seeds when making raspberry jam, but I’ve never found a very effective way of doing that without losing some of the fruit and making a mess in the process, so I make a very seedy jam.

    A very creative friend of mine once gave me a thank-you note after I had given her a jar of jam. I put the note in a frame and keep it in the kitchen because it makes me smile. I’ll type it out, although it loses something because it is written in a kind of distinctive script that gets smaller and smaller till it trails off at the end. Also the words “only and “always” are underlined in a sort of dashing style. It reads:

    Raspberry…only…always…add the tag line “Grape Jam is For Sissies” or “Raspberries From God” or “My Little Seeds Will Make You Grow” or “Buy My Jam Or Else” or go home Joy you’re tired…..”Buy My Jam Or Die Without Friends” “Raspberry Ruecker, Strom Thurmond’s Little Secret” “Raspberry Ruecker…It Can Calm Bosnia….” “Served…I dunno…bye

    Liked by 6 people

  7. I have never done successful vegetable gardening I have had excessive peonies and some excess of lilies and I have divided up excessive hostas to the point where I thought I could do away with the yard all together my guess would be that if I planted tomatoes and basil that would be about all I need
    I have had excessive peonies and some excess of lilies and I have divided up excessive hostas to the point where I thought I could do away with the yard all together my guess would be that if I planted tomatoes and basil that would be about all I need
    A wonderful tomato sauce made of puréed tomatoes along with some herbicide figure out how to make tomato paste and make sauces spaghetti sauces barbecue sauces tomato soups and then if I could have Renee’s 40 jars of pesto it wouldn’t be that I could skip making pesto for next year it would be that I could just skip wishing I had more tomorrow

    i love pesto
    i love tomatos
    I have a sauerkraut recipe I’d like to try some time using green and red cabbage and salt.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Anna, you need a straw bale for those carrots! We never got carrots until I started putting them in the bales. I shoot for the space between two bales, but it doesn’t really matter. You do have to thin them. I just collected another handful tonight. Maybe two more collections out there.
    Cucumbers and pumpkins grow in the straw bales, but they’re always late. My pumpkins are still yellow and just starting to turn orange. Plenty of time, but the commercial growers here; they already have trucks full of orange pumpkins. Odd.

    Just finished an english paper on Malcolm X. I’ve learned a lot about him and it’s been interesting reading. Class going well so far.

    Carpel tunnel acting up in the right hand again. Doc tomorrow and another appointment Tuesday. Trying to get the micro-surgery scheduled but that’s out until mid October and I’m not sure I can wait that long.
    I don’t have time for this!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. carpel tunnel takes about 6 months to come around after they do their thing. 2 weeks oif nothing at all and 6 more of coming out of ti slowthen you start roilling. jerzy kozinski believed in the least amout of words possible for one reason. maybe you can go at it from a utilitarian point of view


    2. I remember reading the Autobiography of Malcolm X in high school. It was a lot to think about. I could never really sort out who the good guys and bad guys were in his story. So many shades of gray.


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