Monday, November 25, 2013

November Tomatoes

We've received almost 10" of rain this year. After 3 years with 3-4" of annual rainfall, 10" is a huge blessing. It sure does make us breath easier going into the winter with some grass in the pastures and those blessings spilled over into my garden. I have 8 tomato plants and 7 cherry tomato plants and we have been enjoying tomatoes since June. Then, in September we had a week of rain, and my tomato plants exploded.

 When we had out first freeze, I went out and covered them with flannel sheets. Yes, I really did. See?

 DH laughed and reminded me that it WAS the end of September and it was probably time to put the garden to bed for the winter, but I can't remember the last time I had that many tomatoes on just a few plants and I was determined to save them. And save them I did. However, now we were expecting a hard freeze for a few nights in a row and we were going to be away from the ranch so I spent one morning picking tomatoes.

My quality control assistant was close at hand:

And I picked:

 And I picked:

And I picked:

We munched on the remaining red ones and savored the last taste of summer. When we got back home, I set to making pickles and chow chow with my mountain of tomatoes.

I saw the green tomato pickle recipe on Judy's blog here so I made up a batch of those:

and then I hunted for what sounded like a good chow chow recipe. I have one, but it is an onion chow chow so I found one that had jalapenos and everything is better with jalapenos so that's the one I'm using. If they're any good, I'll share the recipe, but they've got to set a bit.

I'm hoping to get the rest ripened and make salsa and tomato sauce and soup. If you need me, I'll be in the kitchen behind a mountain of tomatoes and canning jars.


Vickie said...

Your chow chow is pretty ! I love the photo of the Quality Control Assistant !

Staci said...

Wow! You have been one very busy lady! And you'll be literally enjoying the fruits of your labor for months to come. Must be a great feeling!

Nancy said...

What a bounty!

Be patient, they will ripen.

juliehallfeldhaus said...

Just one question What is Chow chow??? just in case I might want you to send me a jar...LOL

Deborah Hamilton said...

I've made green tomato salsa and jelly and they were both delicious.

Pauline said...

I'd put some of those into a big serving of fried green tomatoes!
Do you have my bacon and tomato salad recipe?

laverne said...

That sure is a cute cat you have there!You sure had a bumper crop of tomatoes.Did you wrap any in newspaper and put under a bed or another dark place and let them ripen?Some friends did that a few years ago and I believe that they had ripe ones at Christmas and maybe New Years!Your desert country is pretty amazing.10 inches is pretty droughty around here.Had another 8 tenths but turned cold,had a couple of little showers since then,keep forgetting to go look when I get in from work its dark.prayers you get some more rain.

M. E. Stephens said...

Well, praise the Lord for the rain and the great tomato crop! I found a recipe last year for green tomato enchilada sauce that was superb and was hoping to make more this year, but the tomatoes around here were a flop - all over the area. :-/ My sister-in-law gave up watering ours in September.

My dad covers things and tries to get them through the first frost or two as well. Your flannel tomato tents look like something in our garden. :-)

M. E. Stephens said...

BTW - I've heard that when your picking green tomatoes at the end of the year and you want them to ripen, pick them with the vines still attached. Then hang them up somewhere inside (in the dark??) till they ripen. We tried this and it seemed to work.

Another method we've used is to put them in a cool, dry, dark location (our garage) on top of brown paper and covered with brown paper. This will make them ripen slower if you want them for fresh eating. This did work. I don't know if you could put a couple layers in a box with the paper between.

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