August 9, 2014

Color Me Wrong -or- Riley & the Tomatoes

Tomato harvest has commenced!

Bowl full of Amish Paste, Roma, and hybrid table tomatoes
A variety of Amish Paste, Roma, and hybrid table tomatoes

This is such a relief after last year's piddly tomato yield (only got 4 pints of sauce and even that was a disaster!) That means tomatoes are a happy, daily chore.

My priority tomato preservation job is pizza sauce. It's not really different from spaghetti sauce, we just eat more pizza hence the name. If I have a good picking I like to use my Roma to start the sauce.

Roma juicer

Raw tomatoes can be juiced with ease.

If I want to peel tomatoes for canning, then I freeze the tomatoes whole for easy peeling (beats the boiling water / ice water dunk method). I freeze them too at the beginning and end of the season when I'm only picking small amounts. For sauce I thaw them, cook them down, and run them through my Foley.

Foley food mill

After that the juice goes into the crock pot to be cooked down to thicken.

This is my big crock pot, fount at a Habitat for Humanity ReStore

At this point I add some homegrown seasoning, then I can it in pint jars for those Friday night pizzas. But what's all this got to do with Riley? Well, while I was working away on this Riley was sound asleep in his ManCat Cave.

Riley in his ManCat Cave under the kitchen peninsula where my work stool goes.

He woke up and immediately started asking for some.

"Kitties don't like tomatoes," I told him. But he kept insisting. So I put a little of the discards into a kitty dish and gave it to him.

Riley and his requested tomato

I don't know if he did it to prove me wrong, or because he really liked it, but he polished off all the juicy stuff. He did not eat the tomato peel, but the pigs did.

He never asked for it again, but later Katy came in and begged for some. I let her sniff a bit of tomato but she made a "eww" face and left. I reckon tomatoes must smell good to cats, ya think?


Farmer Barb said...

As you once told me, individual animals have individual tastes!

Judy said...

We had a dog, Trixie, when I was a kid that ate tomatoes off the vine just as they they were turning from green to red. It's a good thing Mom-n-Dad planted five dozen tomato plants at a time or Trixie would have been in big trouble.

With my tomato gizmo I run the peels-n-seeds a second time to get all the juice and pulp out. The second time gives me a dry discard. I also use my tomato gizmo for raspberries and blackberries. Only a few really small seeds get through. It makes the best jam/jelly.

Dani said...

Obviously Riley needed some lycopene. I always trust my body when it craves something too :)

Did you dehydrate any tomato skins to make powder?

Mama Pea said...

Uh-oh! Now when you find Riley sitting in amongst the tomato plants with a red-stained smile on his face, you'll know you're in big trouble!

Harry Flashman said...

I like Riley's mancat cave. My ferrets have all sorts of nooks and crannies they like to relax in. I never heard of a cat eating tomatoes, he is a feline of eclectic tastes.

Renee Nefe said...

Lilly will eat the tomatoes off my plants if I don't keep an eye on her. It is probably my fault as I gave her the blossom end rot tomatoes last year. I don't typically give her any tomatoes in the house as I don't want her using my beige carpet for a napkin. :-/

For my sauce, I roasted the tomatoes in the oven and then ran them through the food mill to get rid of the skins and seeds. I'm interested in this skin powder to the googles!

Sarah said...

Animals like what they like! We had a golden retriever that used to bump the apple trees with her hip until a few apples fell that she could munch on! My cat goes insane over cottage cheese!

Leigh said...

Barb, and this proves I was right. LOL

Judy I never knew dogs liked tomatoes! Thanks for the tip about running the pulp through a second time. I've thought it was still a little juicy, but the chickens never complained. ;) I ran the newest batch through several times and got quite a bit more juice out.

Dani, I hadn't thought of that but you're probably right! I have tomato skin powder on my list of things to try, but I rarely just skin tomatoes. I love the idea though.

Mama Pea, I hope not, LOL!

Harry, critters love their spots! And their food quirks. :)

Renee, I've never tried roasting but it sounds really good. Quite a few folks dry and powder the skin, so you should find lots of good info.

Sarah, the cottage cheese I can understand, but the apples is a new one on me!

Sandy Livesay said...


Nice harvest of tomatoes, they look beautiful.

There is nothing better than making your own tomato sauce for pizza or pasta.

I bet Riley wanted to be with you and taste what it was you were working with. Most animals like to be in the middle of what were doing.

Have a great weekend, stay cool!!! It's very humid and hot here today.

M.E. Masterson said...

Do you put in hot jars & lids? Do you run thru canner?

Cozy Thyme Cottage said...

Nice of you to share with Riley!!! Our dog loves all kinds of veggies. Glad your getting more tomatoes this year. Nancy

Kev Alviti said...

I've never heard of cats eating tomatoes! Your pizza sauce sounds good, a great way to use up the tomatoes.

Su Ba said...

Since hubby and I can benefit by the extra fiber, I don't bother to remove seeds and skins, simply chop up the tomatoes, sometimes running them through a blender for finer sauces.

Seeing all your tomatoes made me envious. I've been getting too much rain for a decent tomato crop so far this year.

Mark said...

Nice harvest of tomatoes. We know what Romas look like. Which ones are the Amish Paste? We are supposed to have some, but what we have looks a bit like a oval shaped cherry tomato. I see some of those in your basket: Is that what I'm seeing?

Crustyrusty said...

We have NO ripe tomatoes yet. This global warming is killing us.

The Stay @ Home-Gardener said...

Funny. Riley and Pickles must share the same genetics. He talks-back if I say he doesn't want something. I still haven't figured out what his love for progresso lentil soup is all about... :)