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What do you all DO with your tomatoes??

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2005
by Sorellina on September 10, 2005 03:09 AM
Ok Weezie, maybe I should have put this in the recipes section, but I spend most of my time on this forum in this neck of the woods so I put it here..feel free to transplant it as you see fit.

SO...what do all of you DO with your wonderful tomatoes now that you're starting to harvest them? It's only the beginning of September and I've already got boxes of filled jars taking up space in my living room.

Here's what I've put up so far:

36 liters of Italian Tomato Sauce in different colours
36 liters of Hot Salsa in different colours
12 liters of Mild Salsa (for Munchkin)
48 125 ml jars of Tomato Paste in different colours
12 125 ml jars of Pizza Sauce
12 liters of V-8 Juice
6 liters of Tomato Puree
36 250 ml jars of Ketchup in different colours
12 250 ml jars of Rainbow Cherry Tomato Jam
12 250 ml jars of Bruschetta Sauce
12 500 ml jars of Caponata
12 500 ml jars of Papaya Pear Squash Relish
12 250 ml jars of Asian Plum Sauce

I've got 6 liters of salsa to process this weekend and then I should be relatively caught up with the canning for now. The plants look like they did in late June/early July with lots of growth, open flowers, and covered in green tomatoes of different sizes. It's a nice respite which will allow me to take care of some other gardening chores and finally keep up with the beans which are now trying to take over the yard, LOL! I can finally see my dining table again. Two weeks ago it was absolutely COVERED in plates and bowls of tomatoes..we were banished to the TV room for meals!

Good luck to all of you with your harvests!


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by Tamara from Minnesota on September 10, 2005 08:59 AM
my gosh, you should start a business!

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by ChristinaC on September 10, 2005 09:32 AM
I've done quite a bit of canning myself...Italian Tomato Sauce, Stewed Tomatoes, Crushed Tomatoes, Salsa and Hot Pepper Relish.
Do you have a good recipe for Hot Salsa? I keep adjusting mine to meet my preferred taste but I just can't get it. It all turns out too acidic tasting..or too sweet or just not enough flavour. I've almost given up!!!

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by WyoMom on September 10, 2005 12:55 PM
Wow!! You have been very very busy. I see you make ketchup, would you mind sharing the recipe? How many tomato plants do you have? I pickled my beans because the kids don't care much for beans but love pickles. I plan on making salsa, ketchup, green tomato jam and freezing some for later. Mine are just starting to ripen a bunch at a time.
by joclyn on September 10, 2005 02:05 PM
slice and bread and then fry them up!! or core them out and stuff!!!

i'll post my recipes in that other section.

thing is tho, you can't do either and then freeze...

i've grown roma's specifically so i could make marinara sauce...that freezes really well.
by maryann matthews on September 10, 2005 09:19 PM
Hi all:
Just harvesting the rest of my Roma tomatoes myself. I have jarred most of them for Sauce to keep throughout the winter, and some I have given to friends. Makes a nice gift too!
Happy Day!


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To get your ideas across use small words, big ideas, and short

-- John Henry Patterson
by BigJimSlade on September 11, 2005 02:56 PM
Wow! How many plants are we talking here for each of you? I am wondering what it takes to make so many tomatoes. I had 8 plants last season (tomatoes don't seem to grow here in Tampa in the Summer), and I pretty much had 1 tomato a day.
by userjh160 on September 20, 2005 12:33 PM
I would like to know how much time it took for all this stuff. It took me a while to make salsa -- of course I am no pro at it and dont have any shortcuts, but a huge mess afterwords. But then again -- after having fresh salsa, it was worth it.
by Sorellina on September 23, 2005 04:23 AM
I'll share recipes when I get a bit more time, lol. As it is, I'm taking a break right now between canning and making dinner. I also have a big bowl of tomatoes to cut in half for the dehydrator.

I'm FINALLY getting in my Sutton tomatoes, a white variety. If they come in more than fits and starts, I may be able to make white sauce. That would be quite amazing.


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by Sorellina on September 26, 2005 07:40 AM
Ciao garden family,

Ok, I have a bit more time now. Here are some answers to above questions:

1. How many tomato plants? I have 30 plants in the main bed, 25 varieties, 6 plants of Opalka, my sauce "machine". I had 11 plants in 1 cu. ft. containers, 9 of which have been retired so far. I have another 10 in pots ranging from 5 - 15 gal. out front. There are 3 cherry tomatoes in the ground out front and 4 plants in hanging baskets that are almost kaputt now. Then there are ~12-15 volunteers that I transplanted behind the zucchini in various stages of fruit-set and ripening. Our 6 yr old has a volunteer Yellow Pear and a Whippersnapper clone of an earlier Whippersnapper of his in his own garden. I think that's it.

2. How long does it take you to make salsa? I do it in 2 stages. Sauce takes much less time because I can run it through the food mill first, but salsa requires me to blanch/skin the tomatoes and then dice them, so I do that step first which takes about an hour and then if I feel like proceeding, it's probably another hour for the rest of the veggie chopping, the salsa takes 30 min. to boil/thicken, and another 20 minutes to process. So it's either an evening or weekend thing.

3. Could you post recipes for ketchup and hot salsa? Sure, I'll even add Italian tomato sauce (quick recipe) in the recipe section.


PS Thinking out loud here..going to make caponata with those white Suttons and my white eggplants this week. It's a yummy snack on toasted baguette.

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by DaisyM on September 26, 2005 08:25 AM
Wow, I hope you have a big family or a lot of relatives, or unless you are a tomato addict yourself. As for myself, I have a few red ones, but quite a few green ones trying to ripen before the big frost. For us, it's been a short season, so our gardens are at least 2-3 weeks late this year. Good luck and hope you can come up with some new recipes for the rest of your tomatoes.
by Sorellina on September 26, 2005 09:39 AM
LOL, I'm Italian. We go through a LOT of sauce, having pasta 3x a week on the average. Salsa and chips are a favourite snack as well. We can easily go through 500 ml a day. By this time next year, we'll have mostly empty jars. Amazing but true for a family of 3.

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