Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Boss Lady

Last weekend I went out to the backyard with the intention of showing the tomatoes who was boss.

And wouldn't you know that there were some dissenting opinions, so that showing has continued into this week.

Meaning that there were so many fucking tomatoes on those plants that I'll be showing them who's boss all week as I freeze/cook/puree/slice/chop/boil/toss them.

Thankfully, at the end of this week, I fully intend to have Boss Lady status - at least as far as the tomatoes are concerned. My status with the other members of the household (yeah, tomatoes are pretty much members of the house now, what with their reserved space in the cupboard and all) is up in the air, I'm sure, as Rocket has informed me that I'm "on the bubble" since she knows her Pelt Removal appointment is fast approaching.


In order to be The Boss of the Tomatoes in an appealing and satisfying way to more than just moi, I decided that I'd just work tomatoes into every single day of our weekly dinner menu so that Bubba could appreciate Boss Man status among the tomatoes, too.

Also, he is good to have around in food surplus situations because he is a boy and therefore can eat impressive quantities of food, even though he keeps up a super svelt frame. The fact that he keeps ratcheting back to the skinner holes on his belt whilst he hoovers up all the leftovers and snacks and always has dessert is just something I'm not going to cover right now because it friggen irks me.

HOW ARE THESE THINGS POSSIBLE? And, how come they don't happen to me?

Moving on...

To first give you an idea of the amount of bossiness I have to force on these plants, let me tell you that during my Saturday morning harvest, I walked away with 32 lbs of tomatoes. I really have to update the tracker with the recent harvests because they've been big ones and I think we may be approaching the 200 lb mark with tomato harvests this year.

In this case, it was more than my cardboard TJ's flat could handle, so I had to call the old broken bucket off the bench.

Put me in, coach!

And in case you can't really appreciate the magnitude of this harvest based on the angle of this photo, this is how much room they took up in my sink as I rinsed them. Which is to say, ALL of the room.

The tomatoes are two and three deep in there. Yeowch.

So, to go about handling all 32 lbs here, I thought first that I'd just freeze them all. Or, maybe, I'd can half and freeze half. Or maybe I'd have a canning-A-THON and can them all. And then rent out one of those POD things for storage.

But then I realized that I'm stupid.

I mean, all winter we make do with homecanned and frozen tomatoes, all the while longing for the coming summer's harvests of fresh tomatoes so that we can have things that you can't really have with canned or frozen tomatoes. Like, say, tomato salad and tomato pie and tomato sandwiches and basically anything you need a fresh tomato to achieve.

You can't be thawing out a frozen tomato to slice up for a salad because that is just nasty and weird.

So, DUH, I finally wrote up a menu of favorite fresh tomato dishes, parceled out the number of tomatoes I'd need to fulfill them and then processed (ie. cut out the stem holes) and froze the rest into gallon sized bags to feed the chesty.

That's eight gallons of tomatoes, there. Yah. Anyone up for chili?

It's funny how the chesty is nowhere near capacity. This thing is fucking scary.

I'm afraid to start stacking stuff in there because it'll get lost and will have to be hauled out with a crane someday.

So far, the menu's working as planned. We started the Tour de Tomato with the "Use While Fresh" basket looking like this:

And last night, after three tomato-heavy dinners, it looked like this:

And in case you're tired of me talking about all these tomato things rather than telling you what we've been doing with all these tomato things, here's the menu.

Sunday night: Tomato Pesto Pie (sans sausage because the store is so far away)

And rather than making a pie PIE, I made individual pie pockets. Well, you'd have to have really big pockets for these, but the crust forms something of a pocket, so just go with me, here.

If you like time-lapse photography, check this shit out - the tomato version:

Slice the dough > Add pesto > Add tomatoes > Add cheese > Add pesto > Add tomato > Cover/Crimp > Bake > Slice > EATYUM

When I make it again, I'll just make it the normal way.

Monday night: Creamy Tomato Soup

This didn't turn out as creamy as promised (by the recipe) because I pussed out and used 2% milk rather than cream but before you get all USE CREAM YOU RETARD! I just want to say that this was due to laziness (I had 2% in the fridge and the cream was all the way at the far away store - see "Sunday night: Tomato Pesto Pie") rather than Fear of Fatness and had there been cream in my fridge I so would have used it.

But, as it turns out, my Fear of Fatness makes the likelihood of having cream in the fridge so slim that I'd advise that you not hold out hope. We'll have to, instead, hope that one day my laziness subsides.

Still good enough for Bubba to eat a gallon of it for lunch.

Tuesday night: Ratatouille with sausage

This is an old standby recipe for those times when I have a crisper full of farmshare and nowhere to turn.

This time I spiced it up with jalapeno sausage from good ol' TJ's and piled on a lot more parsley than you see in this photo. Because I'm self-conscious of my over-parsleying ways, OK.



I served Bubba's over rice, but this is mine - 100% ratatouille

As for tonight and tomorrow and the day after (and after and after...), we'll be having BBQ brisket and beans courtesy of Chesty and a loverly tomato salad. Tomorrow I think I'm making this tomato bruschetta again and Friday we're having pizza.

And, with any fucking luck, we'll hit the weekend with an empty basket on the counter and HEY just in time to refill it with the ripe ones from the garden because OH MY HELL I went out there this morning and there's more.

Imagine if I'd planted SIX tomato plants? We'd be moving into a POD right now just to give them room.

And when did I become so obsessed with PODS? Weird, that.


  1. The beauty of all those lovely non-blighted tomatoes brought a tear to my eye . . .

  2. Ha! I knew the whole planet couldn't be tomato-less this growing season -- all the bounty was in your backyard. That's one seriously impressive haul. I'm glad to see you're alive and kicking -- isn't there some horror movie about tomatoes that take over the world or something??? It could have happened to you!

  3. ok.... Those POD things are ingenious! seriously... I have never heard of them before.... Do we have them in Canada? hhhmmm

    Also... tomato and pesto pie looks delish. (as do the other recipes, but this one really struck me... I HAVE to make it).

  4. I had a dream last night that I was building raised beds with cold frames to go on top.

    I am such a geek.

  5. Yowsa, girl! You are the epic tomato boss lady.


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.