Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Situation

It's difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.
Lewis Grizzard, writer and humorist

I have previously spoken about out tomato "situation." It's out of control really. Three bad harvests led us to plant an abundant variety of plants this year, in hopes that we would actually pull in a sizable crop. The garden gods have smiled upon us and everything in our yard is bursting with life. The tomato plants in particular.

We tried just eating them as they ripened, giving them away to anyone and everyone. But eventually they began reddening faster than we could slice them and it was quite clear that the time had come for us to preserve our fruit. We spent several hours in the hot desert sun pulling every last tomato we could find from the vines. And though I don't have any official measurements (what is the official measurement for tomatoes? Bushels?) we amassed an impressive and intimidating pile.

First, we made salsa. Our garden is full of onions, jalapenos, garlic and tomatillos too so that seemed like a no brainer! Then we made bruchetta. I made a batch of marinara (which is AMAZING) and the rest were sliced and dehydrated. Scratch that. Are in the process of being dehydrated. My Excalibur has been running for five days! The tomato "chips" are good snacks by themselves but I will store some to be rehydrated for cooking and we want to try layering them with garlic and oil to make our own version of sun dried tomatoes.

The pile has dwindled but as I look outside, I see hints of red peeking through the tangle of vines. There are more. MORE!

I suppose I shouldn't have put my sauce pot away quite yet...



  1. We had the same problem/blessing last year with our tomato plants. We dehydrated, gave away, made salsa and pasta sauce and still had lots left. This year we thought we had bought just enough plants when we noticed about 10 plants had grown out of the compost pile from last year. Now we have probably 30-40 plants. Looks like lots of dehydrating again. Just curious - does your dehydrator make your electric bill go up alot?

    1. Because we live in the desert, our summer electric bill can easily reach into the three or four hundred dollar range because of air conditioning. Our utility company offers a plan in which they average twelve months of use and give you the same payment every month. This is much easier for us to budget but it also makes it hard to see if things like excessive dehydrator usage is really affecting our bill.

  2. Wow, that is impressive, hope I that problem this summer :) with your hot dry weather you might be able to try making some real sun dried tomatoes, its not like you don't have any to spare on some experiments! We have hot and humid summers, so I just end up with sun moulded tomatoes if I try to dry them outside....