The Harvest

My wife has been working hard in the garden all summer long, and now…

She’s just piling them up on the kitchen counter because I’m the cook, so I’m expected to do something with the fruits of her labor. All at once. Now.

We’re getting there!


  1. hemidactylus says

    Spaghetti sauce and salsa. Did she grow any habaneros? You’re gonna need an ample amount of those!

  2. says

    When I was growing tomatoes, every year I would make a HEAP of fresh salsa with a bit of berry vinegar (you can use apple cider vinegar if you like) to leach the capsaicin out of the pepper bits and meld it into the general melange of flavors so you didn’t get as many bites with no heat and bites with a terribly hot pepper bit burning your tongue.

    After allowing the salsa to age and flavors to blend for a couple days in the fridge, I’d go nuts for about 2 weeks with all kinds of great recipes that make good use of homemade salsa. About half of the salsa goes to the back of the fridge where it will be coldest – almost, but not quite frozen. With the right amount of vinegar and the deep cold in the back of the fridge, the 2nd half of the salsa lasted 2 weeks quite easily.

    Of course, cooking up some marinara works as well, and marinara will freeze (or can) in a way that fresh salsa won’t.

  3. chigau (違う) says

    Cut off the stem-scar and any blemishes. Put tomatoes in the freezer. Deal with them later.

  4. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    As we speak, I have a big ol’ pot of tomato sauce on the stove cooking down. It freezes well! Then you can thaw out a quart or two at a time and it’s like stored solar energy in the winter.

    If you also have eggplants, perchance, might I suggest Imam’s delight–fairly simple to make and delicious.

    Tomato curry?

  5. fledanow says

    I really like how you talk about your family. Your love for them is constant and apparent. It is a real pleasure for this reader.

  6. PaulBC says

    You can also just eat one with a little salt. (Probably not all of them, though.) I wish I still had some garden space.

  7. stwriley says

    Good, old fashioned canning is your friend in the face of an overabundance of tomatoes. Scald the skins off in hot water, peel and core them, then can them in mason jars and a boiling water bath. They’ll keep for quite a long time and you’ll have tomatoes for recipes the entire winter. They’ll be much better in texture and flavor compared to commercial products and nothing goes to waste.

  8. azpaul3 says

    Do your neighbors eat salads?
    And she could do the deliveries and receive heaps of praise for her grand work.
    Win, win, win.

  9. sherylyoung says

    Dehydrate. We use them all winter in soups, sauces & even salsa. Takes little space & best friend says she prefers them over canned so she takes a lot more off my hands.

  10. asclepias says

    Show-off. Here on the high plains of Wyoming we try hard for a good tomato harvest, but rarely get it. A few, yes, but only a few.

  11. magistramarla says

    Nice! I agree with those who suggested making lots of marinara sauce and freezing it. You can put it in zip-lock bags and freeze them flat on a cookie sheet. After they are fairly solidly frozen, I then double seal the bag, using my vacuum sealer (one of the best tools my husband ever bought me!). You can then stack the bags or put them on their sides, as in a file cabinet, in the freezer. Since we are meat-eaters, I do the same with chicken breasts. When I bring them home I butterfly them and pound them into thin cutlets before vacuum sealing them and freezing them.
    On a busy evening, I can grab a couple of cutlets and a bag of marinara sauce from the freezer, pasta and spices from the pantry and some fresh herbs from my garden to freshen up the flavor of the sauce and to use on the cutlets. All I have to do is add a nice fresh salad and I have a quick and healthy week-day meal!
    I even use the frozen marinara sauce as a base for making chili – just change the herbs and spices when I thaw and warm it.

  12. rockwhisperer says

    My mother loved to can, and she canned tomatoes all summer. One of her favorite tomato-based canning projects was vegan soup stock, with tomatoes, onions, garlic, celery, and carrots. The veggies were all finely diced. Good stuff.

    She gave loads of it to me, and I would come home tired from work on a winter night, open a quart of soup stock, add some seasonings, let it simmer a bit, and throw in some canned (drained, rinsed) beans. Nearly instant, nutritionally outstanding, soup.

  13. says

    Tomatoes are now simmering. I slaved away for a good chunk of the morning, got through maybe half the pile, and then she tells me there are lots more ripening out in the garden. Do I really like tomatoes this much?

  14. Rich Woods says

    @PZ #18:

    Do I really like tomatoes this much?

    You’ll appreciate all the work that went into them by December. Every minute of it.

  15. says

    We usually cook them into a purreé and conserve that in jam jars. It is sort-of pre-made tomato sauce that can be then stored in the cellar and used throughout the year. Tastes great.

  16. blf says

    The picture reminds of the local organic foodstall vendor, who seems to have a fetish for tomatoes. During season, i.e., now-ish, they have heaps and piles of fresh tomatoes in many varieties, those pictured, the tiny ones, plum tomatoes, several different “ancient” types, and so on. Sadly, they are not-so-keen on MUSHROOMS!, and the vendor who was is no longer in the market…

    (Neither was very keen on the mildly deranged penguin, but they both insisted on setting up stalls next to fromagers — albeit in their defense, neither also seems very keen on peas.)