One Hundred Pounds of Tomatoes

May in my neck of the woods means tomatoes. Lots and lots of tomatoes. One hundred pounds this year, to be exact! It's the "$1 per bucket" at the local u-pick that gets me. It drives me out to the field to gather bucket loads of those ripe, juicy, red orbs of summer. This year, Sage comes along to help. Her enthusiasm for picking is short lived... but stepping on rotten tomatoes along the path, now that is some four-year-old-style fun for sure!
After picking and snacking and visiting the farm animals, we head home and I spread my loot out on the dining table. It's a lot of tomatoes, one hundred pounds! The house starts to fill with their fresh aroma as I dig out my canning supplies and start sterilizing jars. My work has just begun...
Night one: children sleeping; husband watching hockey; I process just under half the tomatoes with enthusiasm. Wash, trim, blanch and peel... fill jars ...process in water bath canner... With 14 quarts lined up on my counter, I fall in to bed exhausted and satisfied.
Night two: husband working; one kid continuously out of bed and one who coughs until she throws up; I mop up puke, change and wash sheets, bathe the half-asleep cougher, and process another batch of tomatoes. With 21 quarts now on the counter, I call it a night and fall into bed wondering why, oh why, did I pick so many tomatoes?
Morning three: the tomatoes are mocking me, still piled in boxes and lining my countertops. My kitchen looks like a war zone. I decide it's time to finish the job... 14 more quarts of tomatoes get canned and the rest go into a big pot of marinara on the stove.
In the end, I yield 35 quarts of canned, whole tomatoes; five pints of sauce for freezing; one pint of sauce for the night's spaghetti dinner; and three pints of fresh tomato juice. We're friends again now, me and those tomatoes. In fact, think I'll open up a jar or two and make some tomato soup for dinner!

Just in case you find your self with 100 pounds of tomatoes on your table, here are links to the resources I used:

Fresh Tomato Sauce: http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/08/fresh-tomato-sauce/ (I tripled this recipe)


asavoryspoonful@gmail.com said...

mmmmm. making mine today, thanks to you!!! I would love to know hownyou makenyourmtomato juxe too.l.just blend it? Do you add anything wlse?

Liz ~ A Natural Nester said...

Cathy, the tomato juice is what I squeezed out of the tomatoes before making the sauce. I just squeeze with my hand over a strainer in a bowl. Easy!

Rose said...

Oh yes, I know THOSE feelings well!!! :)