Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tis the Season!

In honor of turning fifty this summer, 
I labeled this batch of salsa "HOT FLASH".  Heh.

I got home from Alabama last Tuesday night...and I took Wednesday to go with Luke to finish school shopping.  

But then Thursday I had to face the music...I mean my tomato patch.  It was like tomatoes had exploded -- no I mean it!  I sucked in my breath and I said "Uh-OH!"!

They had popped all over.  They were on the vine too long.  (Note to self:  August is NOT a good month to leave the house for eleven days when you've planted more than a dozen tomato plants.)  

For every three tomatoes I picked that were worth keeping, I threw out one.  Those were too far gone.  They had split wide open.  I picked for over an hour in the hot sun, like a desperate woman.

Then I headed over to the faucet with a big old washtub to wash those dirty suckers.  That took almost an hour.

Then I made dinner and we dug out all the canning stuff from the basement after we clawed our way through the cobwebs.  It's not a farmhouse without the old, hit-your-head-on-the-low-ceiling and cobwebby basement, you know.

So now I know what happens to tomatoes when they are left to ripen too long.  They try to explode.  And now you know, too.

So needless to say, getting these things preserved was URGENT.  I had to process the almost three bushels of almost over-ripe tomatoes THAT DAY.  If I didn't, they would rot, it was SO HOT outside, high nineties--if I had let them go, they would have exploded in the basket!

Tomatoes look so nice all rowed up...of course, they only look nice when you clean up the HUGE MESS that surrounds it and pose your tomatoes with a nice old pitcher and a clean dishtowel.  Hahaha!!

SO, Mr. Farmhouse helped me during the washing, coring, and blanching process and then I stayed up until almost four in the morning to get the tomatoes canned.  I ended up with 27 quarts of tomatoes.  If he hadn't helped me, it would have taken two days!

When three a.m. came, I still had around four gallons of crushed tomatoes to go.  I couldn't do it anymore.  I put them in huge jars until the next day or so, I had to have some sleep.

The next afternoon, I had recovered sufficiently to get around to it again and made 16 quarts of awesome salsa!  (Salsa is so much fun to make!)

And you know what?

I'm not done yet...!

I peeked the other day, and yup, there's more ready!

How was your tomato harvest?


Tammy said...

I have yet to harvest 1 tomato yet. I have lots on the plants but they are still green. The green beans are just startting to make baby beans. Crazy summer here in Washington. I am so ready to start canning something.

Carol said...

Hi, Joni!
Hopefully next year I'll have tomatoes again. The rabbits and squirrels clean me out, so I rely on my neighbor who generously supplies me. That works out to manageable batches to can. I do love canning - but your harvest would have been overwhelming!
Love looking at (and then enjoying) the final product!

Joy said...

We've had a 'fruitful' tomato harvest. Had all we wanted for ourselves, and shared too. Also made salsa, and froze tomatoes for soups, spaghetti, etc. I've had some split, but not explode! I've noticed the production is winding down. For everything there is a season!