Here We Go Again — or, What to Do With 140 Pounds of Tomatoes

I woke up this morning excited, knowing that by day’s end I would once again have homemade salsa under my roof.

Last year, for some inexplicable reason, I only made five pints.

Five.  Seriously.

They were gone in a month.  This year I am determined to make enough salsa to last well into next year.  In order to do that, I need lots of tomatoes, onions, bell peppers and jalapeño peppers.  My tomatoes aren’t looking so good this year, but peppers I’ve got!  Violet and I headed out to the garden this morning to see what we could find.

The pumpkin/watermelon patch has taken over the upper half of our garden plot.

We harvested dozens of jalapenos, bell peppers, sweet peppers and even some tomatoes. Oh yeah, and that beautiful watermelon was hiding under a jalapeno plant!

I still needed lots of tomatoes and onions, so we trekked to the produce auction in a neighboring county.

I seriously have my eye on that sweet corn. It comes in bags of 25- or 30-dozen ears and you get 5 bags! We’d have enough corn for a year!

Violet kept herself entertained. I had to make sure nobody bid on her.

Uhhh…. I think my watermelon wasn’t ripe yet. Darn! We were all looking forward to eating it.

I plead temporary insanity. I came home with 140 pounds of tomatoes and 80 pounds of onions. But the tomatoes were 20 cents per pound! You can’t beat that with a stick!

Violet is really good at peeling onions. That’s good, because I have about 79 more pounds for her to peel.

My first batch of salsa is cooking.

This is my set-up in the kitchen.

That last photo was taken at 10:30pm.  I was just waiting to take the jars out of the water bath.  My second batch of salsa was actually a double batch, so now I’ve made three batches (12 pints).

I’m seriously having some anxiety about buying so many tomatoes (and onions).  I’m trying not to freak out, but there is a case of buyer’s remorse going on.  The problem is that I’m imagining the tomatoes going bad before I can get to them all.  I keep reminding myself that the tomatoes aren’t going to go bad overnight and some of them aren’t completely ripe yet anyway.  In addition to the salsa, I want to make ketchup and barbecue sauce and those recipes use up a lot of tomatoes.

I will just have to take it day by day and chug away on preserving these tomatoes.  Wish me luck!

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5 responses to “Here We Go Again — or, What to Do With 140 Pounds of Tomatoes

  1. Good luck and you are a brave woman doing all that. Im going to have to stick to my store bought stuff. I don’t know how you find the team. Violet is such a cutie by the way!

    • Ha! The novelty must have worn off, because she hasn’t helped me any more. I may put her to work doing that today.
      At first I thought you meant eating them, because she used to love eating raw onions (like her mom). But now she won’t, because she says they’re too “hot.” I will agree. All the onions that say “sweet” aren’t sweet as much as hot. 😦 My kvetch for the day.
      Thanks so much for the comment!

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