Tomatoes and some more tomatoes

annie1992September 15, 2012

Finally, the tomatoes are ripe. I have some Great White, some Mortgage Lifter, the ones in the middle that are orange are Golden Jubilee, but most are Rutgers and Bonny Best.

I've been canning, canning and canning some more. I did 10 quarts and a pint of the Great White, the strangest looking jars of canned tomatoes I ever saw:

I've made some homemade tomato soup and a batch of chili with fresh tomatoes. I've canned Tomato Basil sauce, recipe courtesy of Readinglady/Carol and two batches of Smoky Chipotle catsup courtesy of KatieC. I don't know what the heck I'm going to do with the rest of them, maybe can some soup?

Tomato sandwiches have been the norm here and I want to make Sol's tomato tart. Fried green tomatoes have been on the menu, but what else can I make that uses a lot of tomatoes before I can them all?


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Be still my heart. I got some German Yellows and some Cherokee Purple. I'm thinking of mixing them for a few quarts. I don't have a lot. Should be interesting looking. I love your yellow quarts. I wanted bunch of whites or yellows but haven't gotten them at good enough price to can.

Do you like ratatouille? Let some cook way down for some sloppy joes?

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 12:39AM
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"Be still my heart"

Amen. Wow!!

I like to quarter them and cook them in a low oven until reduced by half or so and a little browned. The roasted tomatoes make great sauce. I think it would be acidic enough to can, but don't quote me on that.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 1:46AM
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I think I need to sneak into your garden and remove some of the burden from your delicate shoulders ;).

Wow!!!!!!! No cracks, no BER, they look perfect.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 9:45AM
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Your tomatoes look wonderful, Annie. When I have yellow tomatoes, I like to make this sauce.


1 Tbs. olive oil
1/3 cup minced onions
1 bay leaf
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. white wine
7 yellow tomatoes, peeled, seeded and pureed
1/2 tsp. fennel seeds, ground (you may want to start with 1/4 tsp. and then taste)
I lb. flounder or other white fish, poached, grilled or fried

Heat oil in saucepan and add onions, bay leaf and garlic and sautee for about 5 minutes. Add wine and tomato purr and simmer gently for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add fennel nd simmer 15 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaf. Serve sauce under or over fish. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and minced sweet red peppers, if desired.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 10:25AM
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peppi, sneak on over, I'd be glad to let you have free run of the garden. I've got to get past these tomatoes, I have a whole row of beets waiting to be "dealt with" and I haven't touched swiss chard, we've been eating kale until I think we're going to turn green!

the tomatoes were late but really sweet and blemish free, I've been surprised that I've had nearly no BER. No sudden rains to cause cracking either. I've been watering regularly....

Yum, ruthanna, thanks. I'll bet I could also make those with red tomatoes, I'm going to keep having reds, I think the whites are about done. I also have some fresh fennel, I'll bet I could even add that in place of fennel seeds.

coconut, I saved seeds from those whites, what a great tomato. Around here, though, tomatoes are usually red, people just think that's what a tomato is supposed to be so they can't sell enough of the "other" colors to make bushels worthwhile. Yes, I like ratatouille, and I have eggplant to use up too.

Jessica, thanks for the reminder. I do have KatieC's recipe for roasted tomato and garlic soup for canning and I did grow all that garlic...


    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 12:47PM
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Making tomato sauce.


    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 2:41PM
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Oh dear Lord, dcarch....that's disgusting.LOL In our area there's a place that has a tomato war or something like that but I have never gone there.

Annie,I feel your pain although I didn't have that many full sized tomatoes ripe at once. A lot of mine were smaller. Some questions for you:

Do you set out all your tomato plants,etc. yourself and how many tomato plants do you put out? Just curious. Although you're a generation younger than me you are a lot closer to the ground, but still, that is a lot of stooping and bending.

For Katie 's Chipotle Catsup, do you dry your own peppers? smoked? Or do you use the canned in adobo sauce. I don't have a smoker or a charcoal grill. And, I have dozens of jalapenos a lot of which are already red.

When I made her Roasted Tomato Garlic soup, and I made quite a bit, I froze it in ziplock bags rather than drag the canner out again. Love that stuff!


    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 3:07PM
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Annie, you definitely need to grow more tomato
varieties of the 'indeterminate' variety.
But I'm sure you realize this, and your
situation is the result of the screwey weather
we have all had. Somehow, you've got to
knuckle under and deal with this, and remember,
in the grand schism of things, you could
have worse problems. I'm just sayin...(smile).
(did I spell 'Skeem' correctly?).

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 4:57PM
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lbpod, would that be "scheme"? I'm already scheming to get rid of some of them by taking them to the neighbors tonight after dark and leaving them on porches. (grin)

dcarch, that looks like more fun than leaving them on neighbors' porches!

Jude, I do plant them all myself. I started the Great White and the Sungold from seed this year, with planters lined up on the floor in front of my big kitchen sliding door. It faces south and works like a greenhouse, things grow great there. When I had the Dead Cat, she wouldn't leave them alone but Cooper doesn't seem to care about it at all.

this year I planted 24 Great White, 8 Golden Jubilee, 8 Mortgage Lifter, 12 Rutgers, 12 Bonny Best, 4 Pineapple, 4 Big Rainbow and 6 Sungold. The rabbits ate the first batch of Golden Jubilee, the Pineapple, the Big Rainbow and the Mortgage Lifter. I replanted and they ate them all again but never touched the Rutgers, the Great White or the Bonny Best or Sungold. I finally managed to keep 2 Mortgage Lifters and 4 Golden Jubilee but couldn't replace the last batch of Pineapple or Big Rainbow. So, I ended up with 60 plants total. I always plant too many because you never know if you'll have a bad year, or blight or an infestation of rabbits or tomato hornworms or whatever. Definitely overboard this year but I might not have as many to can next year and it'll all even out. (grin)

For the chipotles in the catsup, I just used canned chipotles in adobo for the second batch, Elery had smoked some jalapenos and we used those in the first batch but I really couldn't tell a difference, so don't hesitate to just buy one of those small cans.

I have dozens of jalapenos too, I pickled 9 pints of jalapeno rings for Elery but I still have peppers, so I'm thinking of dicing and canning them in 4 ounce jars to use in those recipes I have that call for a "4 ounce can of green chilies". They'd be hotter than the commercial ones, probably, but I think they'd be a good substitute.


    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 7:16PM
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Thanks Annie, for all the information. I'll go with the canned chipotle.


    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 7:26PM
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Those are gorgeous. Someone gave me a pkg. of mixed heirloom tomato seeds and I have one plant that looks like it's going to have really light yellow fruits. hmmmm...

Those Sungolds are prolific, lol. I have a couple of trays in the dehyrator, halved and sprinkled w/ s&p and a little oregano.

Still waiting for enough tomatoes to make salsa and chili sauce, we're getting a few at a time. What doesn't get eaten right away has been going into little batches of sauce, cooked down into paste, then dehydrated in tablespoon-sized plops.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 9:53PM
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Hard to believe, but it's past mid-September and we still haven't had a killing frost here, so I still have tomatoes ripening on the vine. In years past, I have NEVER had any ripen before they had to be picked, but we've been eating ripe ones since Aug 1. We never grow enough here to can - the most we can hope for is a steady supply of salad and eating tomatoes into Nov as they ripen indoors. Of course, sometimes they ripen so fast that we have to eat them with three meals every day.

However, I'll be leaving on a week long road trip on Tues, and I KNOW the family will totally ignore anything happening in the garden, and I'll be REALLY surprised if there is not frost before I return. So tomorrow, I'll have to pick them all. I think I'll make some roasted tomato sauce and freeze it, as DH and the kiddoes say they there is no way they can cope with all the ripe ones (they will likely eat out for 6 days). Sigh.....

Here is a link that might be useful: My Tomato

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 11:25PM
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And I thought my husband grew a lot of tomatoes! Well, now I need to deal with them and I have been faithfully reading all your forums to learn the right way of canning the little guys. How do I know if a recipe is cannable (strange word)...I have this lovely oven roasted tomato catsup recipe I love..but am wary of canning it as you and Dave are quite firm about the ph balance. If you look at it, can you advice. Thanks... if not, can I get the chipotle catsup recipe?

Oven-Roasted Tomato Catsup
Yield: about 4 cups
4 C oven roasted tomatoes
� C balsamic vinegar
� C light brown sugar
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
Hot sauce to taste

Place all the ingredients except the salt and pepper and hot sauce in a non-reactive 1-quart saucepan. Cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture comes to a simmer. Cook for five minutes, stirring frequently. Remove the bay leaf. If you like smooth catsup puree the mixture in a food processor until desired consistency, or run it through a food mill to achieve a mixture with slightly more body. Another option is to leave it as is to make chunky catsup by simply mashing it briefly with a potato masher. You can store the catsup in the refrigerator in a tightly covered container for several weeks. It also freezes beautifully in a tightly sealed container or freezer-strength re-closeable plastic bag. Yield: about 4 cups.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 10:01PM
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You know, of course, that an "untested" recipe, i.e. one not tested by the government and approved as safe to cannot be guaranteed to be safe? And not all recipes are formulated to be canned.

As for your recipe, above, my first question would be the acidity of the balsamic? Is it at least 5% acidity? I have a bottle of balsamic on the counter that is only 3% acidity and another in the pantry that is 5.5% acidity. I even picked up a gallon of white distilled vinegar for pickling and checked the acidity. Only 4%. So, check your vinegar first.

That said, I'd can your recipe, even if it isn't tested and approved, you have only tomatoes and sugar in there, with seasonings, no low acid vegetables at all.

The chipotle catsup is really good, though, so here's that recipe too:

Smoky Chipotle Ketchup

Recipe By :Katie
Serving Size : 0 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Preserving

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
5 lbs. ripe tomatoes -- coarsely chopped
1 large onion -- finely chopped
1 large poblano chili -- finely chopped
2 jalapeno chilies -- coarsely chopped
4 canned chipotle chilies -- (2-5) chopped
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 tsp. celery seed
1 1/2 tsp. mustard seed
1 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 tsp. salt

Combine all ingredients in large, heavy nonreactive pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft and sauce is reduced by one-fourth.

Puree in a food processor or food mill, or use a stick blender. Strain through a sieve if desired. Bring to a boil and simmer until quite thick and dark brownish red.

Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month, or process in a boiling water bath: 15 minutes at 0-1000 ft., 20 minutes at 1001- 6000 ft. and 25 minutes above 6000 ft.

Happy Canning!


    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 11:22PM
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There was a frost warning a couple of nights ago, so I picked most of my tomatoes and peppers. I've already made one batch of salsa and have given away a's be interesting when all these green ones start to ripen.

Does anyone have a good tomato soup recipe?

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 11:35PM
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There's a frost warning here too, for tonight. I don't care what happens to the rest of those darned tomatoes! I do have tomatillos, though, that I'd hate to lose. Other than that, I'm down to beets, potatoes and sweet potatoes, along with butternut squash. None of them care about a light frost...

We really like this soup of KatieC's. I do can it with a pressure canner (I've done 16 pints so far) but the recipe makes about 2 quarts before the addition of cream, so we also just make it to eat.

Roasted Tomato Garlic Soup

Recipe By :Katie
Serving Size : 0 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories :

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
12 tomatoes -- *see Note
2 carrots -- cut in 2" pieces
1 large onion -- quartered
2 whole heads garlic -- peeled (or more, to taste)
olive oil
2 cups chicken broth -- (or 3)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil -- (or 1 Tbsp. dried)

Core tomatoes and cut in half. Place, cut side up, on foil covered cookie sheet with carrots, onion and garlic. Brush with olive oil. Bake at 400F for about an hour, or until vegies are roasted and a little blackened.

Place in a large saucepan with the chicken broth and basil and simmer for about 10 minutes. Blend with a stick blender (or in small batches in a blender) until almost smooth.

To can: Ladle into clean hot jars and leave a one-inch headspace. Process pints 60 minutes and quarts 70 minutes. For dial gauge canners use 11 lbs. pressure at 0-2000 ft., 12 lbs. at 2001-4000 ft., 13 lbs. at 4001- 6000 ft., and 14 lbs. over 6000 ft. For weighted gauge canners use 10 lbs. pressure at 0-1000 ft. and 15 lbs. over 1000 ft.

To serve: Add cream to taste when heating if desired.

*Note: These measurements are approximate...I use whatever it takes to cover the cookie sheet. This makes 1 1/2 to 2 quarts of soup.


    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 12:15AM
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Thanks for posting the recipe, Annie...much appreciated.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 3:04AM
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Annie, You grow sweet potatoes? I didn't think we had a long enough growing season in Michigan? What variety do you grow?


    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 5:38AM
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I keep coming back to this page and drooling over all your tomatoes. I have only done a porch container garden the past two years and this year, between the overgrown butterfly bush and a volunteer locust tree, there wasn't enough sun on the front porch to get even one tomato. Good thing I am surrounded by plenty of farmer friends/stands.

I've already started killing stuff so my garden spots will be ready next year. I'd love to check out those Great Whites.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 4:09PM
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coconut, I'd be glad to send you seeds, if you like, I've saved some and I can always save more.

Karen, I do grow sweet potatoes. I buy "slips" or plants, I don't try to plant the potatoes. I have good luck with Georgia Jet, not as good with Beauregard. I've got some "white" sweet potatoes growing this year for Elery, variety is "Nancy Hall". It's what he remembers from his childhood instead of the orange ones, so we'll see what is under those vines in the next couple of weeks!

Now, I'm going out to can more salsa. I went to the garden today and three more buckets of tomatoes were waiting for me. I don't care what happens to them now, they can be chicken feed, I'm ALL DONE canning tomatoes!


    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 6:08PM
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Annie, I really would like to take you up on your generous offer of some seeds. Feel free to just wait till they rot on the vine and send the whole shriveled up j/k. I'll email you.

I'm so glad you're growing the Nancy Hall's for Elery. I sure do love my whites. Can't wait until they harvest and cure them.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 9:42PM
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Coconut, I wish I could figure out a way to send you a tomato so you could try it, but they are very fragile, they get bumped up just by putting them into a bucket. I have seeds drying on a paper place right now, so you'll be getting some in a few days. This is a very nice tomato, it deserves to be spread around.

KatieC, those sungolds ARE prolific, aren't they? I think next year I'm planting TWO plants. That all, just two, I can't eat the darned things fast enough!


    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 11:53PM
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I hear ya Annie, I had to end up buying my Germans and Cherokees from a different place because the first batch were so rough handled by the time I got to prep them they had so many bruises there was little left. I'm very grateful for the seeds. Smiles.

I had 3 plants of sungolds last year in containers and had so many I did end up cooking pasta with quite a few of them. Seriously prolific little buggers.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 12:35AM
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I might be talked into placing a small raised bed next year in the only place I have for an in-ground garden. My back yard is all pool and concrete and dog spot (ew). I do have a sunny spot in the front yard. I live on a corner and the sunny spot is on the side away from the front door. The rest of the yard is well shaded by trees.

We'll see...

Eileen, who is envious of those lovely white tomatoes.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 8:16AM
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LOL, ci_lantro, good thinking. You wouldn't want anyone to eat any of that "contaminated" dough, best to dispose of it properly. Ahem.


    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 10:04AM
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Now how did I do that? This was supposed to be on the "mixer" thread.....

Eileen, Amanda planted a dozen tomatoes in a raised bed and they did wonderfully, but the box is right by her deck so the tall indeterminates were supported in part by the deck rails. It worked pretty well, and the cucumbers climbed up too.


    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 10:09AM
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