Tomatoes from my garden

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03 Sep Tomatoes from my garden

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I grew these. I. Grew. THESE.

Sure they’re a bit late, but they’re fresh from my garden with tons more to come. And despite a summer of neglect, they’re nearly perfect. Not a bug bite, not a speck of mold. Just ripe, firm tomatoes.

tomatoes-bowlful.jpgAnd it shouldn’t have happened. At least not to me.

My neighbour gave me the seedlings. You gave me advice. My parents planted them while I was away at a conference. My friend suckered them in the first few weeks of growth. Nature watered them. And me?

I ignored them for three months.

Okay, I staked them, but that was it. No watering, no fertilizer, no pinching off (which I will do next year, I promise). I just left them alone with the basil and marigolds, and they produced.

Aren’t they lovely? These are fresh from the vine, not even washed.

I marveled at the variety. While most sit neatly in my palm, one is so small it fits in an espresso cup.

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And so, I now have a bounty of tomatoes to deal with.

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I will definitely be canning some, but I thought I’d try something different and make homemade ketchup — yet another store bought condiment I’m trying to wean Andrew off. Other than tomato sauce I’m stumped.

Anyone else have success with their tomatoes? If so, what do you do with your tomato tonnage?

No Comments
  • Carolyn
    Posted at 11:30h, 03 September Reply

    Oh, I'm trying so hard not to be jealous. My neglected tomato plant didn't make it this year, so I'll have to buy my "home-grown" tomatoes from the farmer's market.

    I love fresh, raw salsa, made with the tomatoes, fresh cilantro, white onion, and a little bit of cumin (and jalapenos in the batch for the grown-ups in the house). Usually I don't even peel the tomatoes, but you can if you want. Blanching makes the skins slide right off (but you probably knew that) and stops the enzymes if you want to freeze the salsa.

  • formerchef
    Posted at 11:32h, 03 September Reply

    First, you must enjoy them sliced, fresh from the vine, unrefrigeerated with some fresh basil and maybe a splash of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Good salt and freshly cracked pepper too.
    Then, make home made tomato soup or marinara sauce! Both freeze well so you can enjoy the "fruits" of your labor into the winter. (I have recent recipes for both on my blog btw)
    Enjoy your home grown tomatoes. There's nothing better.

  • Cheryl
    Posted at 12:58h, 03 September Reply

    I'm so proud of you!

    Gazpacho?

  • The Diva on a Diet
    Posted at 15:22h, 03 September Reply

    Wow, congrats, Charmian! That's quite a bounty and they're all so beautiful. Don't you just love the smell of a fresh picked tomato? Sigh.

    I hope you do try the ketchup because I would love to have a tried and true recipe. I'll look forward to your results!

    Personally, I'd be making gallons of various tomato sauces to freeze. That's like having money in the bank to me.

  • The Diva on a Diet
    Posted at 15:22h, 03 September Reply

    Wow, congrats, Charmian! That's quite a bounty and they're all so beautiful. Don't you just love the smell of a fresh picked tomato? Sigh.

    I hope you do try the ketchup because I would love to have a tried and true recipe. I'll look forward to your results!

    Personally, I'd be making gallons of various tomato sauces to freeze. That's like having money in the bank to me.

  • Divawrites
    Posted at 15:52h, 03 September Reply

    wash them, stem them and freeze them whole for fresh tasting tomato sauce in February when the tomatoes in the store taste like cardboard.

  • FRANCESCA
    Posted at 18:14h, 03 September Reply

    Very nice Charmian.

    I know this it not about tomatoes but the minute I read it wellll, I thought of YOU! Go figure eh? :)Thought you'd like to check it out

    http://www.uoguelph.ca/news/2009/09/food_science_pr_1.html

  • amyproulx
    Posted at 18:32h, 03 September Reply

    I highly recommend homemade ketchup. We just made some zippy, and fruity peach tomato ketchup, which is oh so popular with the toddler set.

  • Cari Snell
    Posted at 21:44h, 03 September Reply

    What about tomato "jam"? I've never made it myself but I have read it is supposed to be delicious on crackers with goat's cheese.

  • John
    Posted at 23:51h, 03 September Reply

    They look delicious. I can't imagine anyone not loving tomatoes!

  • Puglette
    Posted at 23:58h, 03 September Reply

    they're lovely! i would just eat them plain, nice and warm from the sun. yum!
    hugs,
    puglette
    :o)

  • soupnancy
    Posted at 03:07h, 04 September Reply

    I use as much as I can fresh and off the counter, but then I jar a ton too. A load of tomato sauce and smaller amounts (still cases) of ratatouille, salsa, BBQ sauce, ketchup and/or jam. I also freeze barely cooked tomato purée (which doesn't can well without sugar and acid and long cooking) for versatile uses year round. My boyfriend (ex-farmer) has been known to freeze whole tomatoes that he didn't have a chance to process as is (sousvide or even ziploc bags). I don't say this is ideal, but when at a loss, don't let them rot on the counter. I have made a tomato sauce come winter with them and it was still better than off season or canned tomatoes.

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 07:40h, 04 September Reply

    Carolyn, I love salsa. Great idea.

    Former Chef, I'm taking you up on the suggestion now and will make soup later. With sage.

    Cheryl, I remember your green peppers pretending to be tomatoes fiasco from last year. I had the advantage of being given the seedlings by a pro. And gazpacho sounds great!!

    Diva on a Diet, I have made ketchup. Story later.

    Diva Writes, I can't bear tomatoes in winter — at least the ones we get here. Ick.

    Francesca, thanks for the link!!

    Amy, we are on the same wavelength. I made ketchup using tomatoes AND peaches. I'll have to check my recipe against yours.

    Cari, I have never heard of tomato jam until recently. I suppose it's a savory, like red pepper jelly? I'll have to give it a try.

    John, thanks, but confession time. I used to hate tomatoes. But then I grew up.

    Puglette, your so right. I did just that. And they were lovely.

    Soupnancy, I love the idea of freezing barely cooked tomatoes for various uses later. And I had no idea you could just freeze them (in case of a tomato emergency). I might have to resort to that if they keep up the hectic pace of the last few days.

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