Tuesday, September 23, 2014

MoFo: 30 Pounds of Tomatoes ~ and a Doodle Giveaway!



Yesterday my aunt Laura and her partner had a special opportunity to pick tomatoes. Through a friend, they were invited to help glean the end of the organic, dry-farmed tomato harvest and they picked a TON of tomatoes. When Laura called me, she basically asked me "How many can you handle?" BRING IT.

They were so incredibly generous and brought me two huge cardboard boxes of tomatoes - about 30 pounds. (Thank you!!!) When a gift like this befalls you, you gotta clear your schedule, because it's gonna take some time.

clockwise, from bottom left:
Coffee for chopping power, Drained-off tomato juices, Giant pot of diced tomatoes, Bowls of icky bits and stems, Washed tomatoes ready to be diced, Tomatoes all chopped up and ready for the pot - plus my totally beloved and exclusive tomato knife (most excellent wedding present!)

I tasked Mr VE&T with walking the dogs today, so that I could get busy with tomatoes. The first item on my agenda was to can up a bunch of diced stewed tomatoes for winter. I especially wanted to quickly process the fruits that were a little damaged or wouldn't last even a couple of days. So I got to work: washing the tomatoes, de-stemming and chopping off the icky bits, dicing the rest, and draining off the excess juices.



tomato juice galore

Next I brought the diced tomatoes to boil in a giant pot and let them boil for 5-10 minutes or so - partly to kill off any lingering bad bacteria, and also just to let the tomatoes cook down a bit. I like them better that way. After they've cooked, I ladle off the extra tomato juice, so that the canned tomatoes will be less liquidy. I have a LOT of tomato juice on my hands right now. Time for tomato soup?


just the first batch!

Then I carefully put the tomatoes into my sterilized jars, and processed them for another 20 minutes. In all, I got 18 pints of diced tomatoes - little jars of bright red summer-in-a-bottle... all ready to be tucked away for winter time.



Plus, I still have all of these guys left on my counter top. These are the fruits without blemishes, which means they didn't quite require such rapid processing. I suspect I might well get a few more MoFo posts out of this glorious haul.


My family, as depicted in tomato form
What can I say, I got tomatoes on my mind!

FootFoot, Dottie Bonkers, Yummers Potatoes, Stevie Wonder, Snoopy Snoppy

I've been feeling like there haven't quite been enough doodles of my furry gang on my blog lately... so here's a bonus doodle of the Noodle Club, as I call them. Speaking of doodles... I floated this idea on Facebook and got a super enthusiastic response... so here goes nothing:


DOODLE GIVEAWAY!
Two lucky winners 
will receive an original, personalized doodle of themselves 
and their family/fur family. 

To enter: leave a comment on this blogpost and just say something nice about tomatoes or doodles or pets or summertime or whatever. 

Winner will be chosen on the Last Day of VeganMoFo: Sept 30th!

48 comments:

  1. What a lucky tomato haul! That's a lot of work, but you're going to be so happy in the winter when you're eating summer tomatoes. There's really nothing like them.

    I'm so glad you're doing the giveaway!! Best giveaway prize ever!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm so excited for this giveaway! I've been enjoying all of your MoFo posts and plan on trying my hand at Cinque e cinque sandwiches this weekend. Yay!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm so happy you decided to go ahead with this giveaway! I've been so in love with your doodles since I found your blog!thank you for the chance to win!

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a sweet idea! Also I love how much canning you do - I'm a little scared off by the whole process but your posts are encouraging!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love the giveaway idea! Your doodles and noshtalgia are what make your blog so unique, and the reason I always come back! Congrats on all those tomatoes!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yummy tomatoes! I love your beautiful jars. There is something so satisfying about putting up food. I've only ever made jam but maybe I should try canning some other fruits or veggies.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love your tomato family doodle, it is adorable. <3
    We are just coming in to summer time here, spring has sprung so the summer months won't be far off.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Summertime tomato get down!

    ReplyDelete
  9. With diced tomatoes you can always make a meal!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Love your blog and doodles!!!

    Growing up, we only had access to grocery store tomatoes and I wasn't a fan. But after I had my first farmers market heirloom tomato... All bets were off! While I was pregnant, I craved tomatoes with basil and basalmic vinegar. Yum!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I've literally always wanted a caricature done, so this would be a dream come true! :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I canned tomatoes two mornings ago, so this looks very familiar - but I only did 6 pounds! I just love how cheery jars of food look on the shelf!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Your tomato-family doodle cracks me up! Your blog is always so much fun to read. Thanks for doing MoFo again this year, and bringing us so many great posts!

    ReplyDelete
  14. what a great idea! I love tomatoes, doodles and, most of all, my cat :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. I would love to be gifted that many tomatoes! I'm imagining all the tomato and mayo sandwiches I could eat. :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Wow! So many tomatoes! I wouldn't know what to do in that situation but you've clearly got tomato processing down! Loving your doodles today too, yay for more of your fur family <3

    ReplyDelete
  17. This is the best giveaway idea ever! I love your drawings and am amazed at how many tomatoes you've volunteered to take; totally inspiring. I look forward to seeing what you end up doing with the rest!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Wow, I'm jealous of your tomato haul! I'd be making a lot of pasta sauce and gazpacho.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I wish I had your dedication to preserving/canning. It just looks like so much work to me, and I'm afraid I'd give us all botulism :) I'd look at 30 pounds of tomatoes and cry at all the work needed. You are so inspiring to me!

    ReplyDelete
  20. what a great present. you have the best family! and i super love your doodles!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Best giveaway ever! And best gift from an aunt ever! Man, I wish I had even just a few beautiful fresh tomatoes like those right now!

    ReplyDelete
  22. This is random - but I've very much noticed your colander in a few recent posts, and I have to say, I'm most envious of it! I am officially putting "cool colander" on my wish list. Ptooie on my dumb plastic ones! :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Wow! That's an amazing amount of tomatoes! I had bolognese for dinner and after seeing your photos I am craving it again already!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I think I have tomato envy! Yum!

    ReplyDelete
  25. so many beautiful tomatoes! My favorite way to eat tomatoes is just with a dash of salt and then bite right in, YUM! My dad used to have lovely tomato plants in our back yard and I loved picking them every summer and eating them warmed from the sun :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. What a wonderful gift, there is nothing like a ripe tomato sandwich, with just salt and vegan mayo. Yum. My favorite tomato memory is of something my Ninny (grandma) ate-peanut butter and tomato sandwiches! I never tried it, but I guess the ripe, sweet tomato would be a bit like jelly. Maybe I should give it a whirl in her honor. :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. I love your blog. Have been reading and making your recipies for a few years now. What i love the most are your Nostalgia posts. Thanks for sharing!! And this doodle competition is the best idea ever. I would love to see me and my family in onr of your drawings :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. Oh no! My 3 AM tomato post-commetn from my phone didn't work...I don't think I can remember it, as it was written at 3 AM when I could not sleep. It was in rhyming couplet form. Sadness and woe. Oh well, I wrote a limerick tonight! Love you Amey!


    ReplyDelete
  29. What a lot of tomatoes. That will keep you in tomato sauces for a good while. I have just discovered your site and you combine two of my favourite things, a meat free lifestyle and art. Thanks : ))

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hi Amey!
    Thank you so much for your sweet comment on my blog :). What I ate was delicious, haha!
    Lovely that you make so much nice stuff from so so so much tomatoes! I love tomatoes, haha.
    Xx

    ReplyDelete
  31. Good lord that's a lot of tomatoes! I haven't done much preserving in the past but I'd like to learn some tips, in case fruit/veg opportunities like yours come up!
    Thanks so much for this generous giveaway. I would love a picture of me and Alfie :D

    ReplyDelete
  32. I was just sittin' here wishin' I had 30 lbs. of tomatoes...or a doodle of my sweet Jack...

    ~Have a lovely day!

    ReplyDelete
  33. I would love to win a doodle of my furry kids! How totally fun!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Your post brought back memories from two years ago when my friend scored 60 lbs of tomatoes in the same way. We made lots and lots and lots of tomato sauce! She moved away in august and I really miss her sweet face!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Ooh I love going to the markets at the end of the day and picking up cheap boxes of tomatoes to make sauce with - it's so satisfying knowing you have your supplies all sorted!

    ReplyDelete
  36. I love your doodles and I love my pets and I would LOVE a doodle of my pets - my pet family is similar in size to yours!

    Also, I am so sad tomato season is over here. Le sigh.

    ReplyDelete
  37. squeee a doodle giveaway! what a sweet idea! i absolutely love your drawings. <3

    ReplyDelete
  38. I love your doodles. I would love to see my dog Andy as a doodle!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Wow I would be in heaven! I have been so obsessed with fresh tomatoes this summer. Some of my customers have been supplying me with some from their gardens and I made fresh sauce for the first time I think ever! It will be great to have them during the winter months too, so good job on the canning front. I love your doodles! They are signature you. I was always jealous at school of the kids in my classes who did really cool doodles. My cartooning game is at an all-time low..

    ReplyDelete
  40. Amey I've been reading your blog for YEARS (way before I knew I would be moving to California and would meet you in person!) and your doodles are what first caught my attention and made me a loyal reader - I would LOVE to have a doodle of my family!

    Also I am so happy to hear that you couldn't touch your toes...which sounds weird, but it's because I have SUCH tight hamstrings and sometimes it makes me feel like I don't belong in a yoga class because everyone else is so bendy. But it makes me feel okay to know that not every yogi was miraculously bendy when he/she started out.

    ReplyDelete
  41. What a great idea!
    My cat roommate and I would love to be pictured by you!
    Since summer is ending, I try to eat as many raw tomatoes as I can: salad, sandwiches...When winter comes here, tomatoes are not the same and I almost quit eating them until next summer.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Ha! I just read your tomato soup post and after seeing a picture of your tomatoes I'm left thinking-- good thing Mr. VE&T loves tomato soup. He'll be eating it for a while! :)

    Things I'll miss about this summer: STONE FRUIT! I'm usually so cheap about buying it, but subscribing to a fruit CSA gave me such plentiful access for a reasonable price that I really indulged this year, and have zero regrets. There's so much other food I'll miss til next year (fresh, good tomatoes! basil! eggplants! strawberries!) but stone fruit's taking it this year...

    Things I won't miss: the heat! SC hasn't been too bad, but I've been running at lunch up in south San Jose all summer and, well, to give you an idea of how it's been: the other day I thought to myself "it's really not bad out today" and when I got back and checked the thermostat, it was 86F. Ha ha ha!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Awww, I love your doodles! Best thing about summer: cabin on the lake!

    ReplyDelete
  44. My comment keeps disappearing.... anyway, I would love to win a doodle of my family from you. I really like a tomato soup and I make it quite often since it's one of the few soups that my kids like as well.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I'd love a doodle! I've read your blog awhile and it's one of my favorite things about your blog. Plus your great personality just shines through.

    I just had tomato soup yesterday and might have some today for a late lunch.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Traci5:32 PM

    This probably sounds totally strange, but I love your doodles so much, I've started picturing my life in them. I probably need a real one of my family just so my life can be complete! :-) So glad you are posting regularly this month. I'm enjoying having a new fun post (and doodle) to read each day!

    ReplyDelete
  47. My first Cherokee purple tomato ripened up last week -wow- it was amazing! It's been a terrible summer weather/garden wise(nights dropping into the 40s routinely) but I'm so glad for the few tomatoes we have gotten so far! I love your doodles they inspire me to get back into art myself. :)

    ReplyDelete
  48. I would pay you a million dollars (if I had it) to doodle me and Jay and the Lenny and the Puddy. <3

    ReplyDelete

I love comments, they really make my day!