You Say Tomato, I Say Bleahhh

Some small victories:

1. When we put our trash out Sunday night, I noticed that we had less trash and more recyclables than usual. Since I found the revised recycling guidelines for my town, I have definitely been collecting more stuff to recycle, especially paper of all kinds. It was encouraging to see, and I hope it wasn’t a fluke.

2. Today I used tomatoes from the garden we had last summer to make my gravy. That might not seem like a big deal, but it’s the first time anything from our garden was consumed by any of us.


We had a lot of fun with the garden in terms of design, digging, teaching the kids about plants, oohing and ahhing over the first little sprouts, marveling at what it produced, etc… but not so much with the eating part. The carrots were limp and small. The cucumbers did well and my husband might have ate one or two; we gave away most of them. The pumpkins didn’t turn out. The tomatoes grew like gangbusters, but nobody liked them raw, and they would pile up and go bad before I could get around to doing something with them. Ultimately I skinned, pureed and froze about 48 ounces’ worth.


So today, realizing I was out of canned tomatoes, I turned to the freezer. All this time I had been kind of skeeved out by the thought of using those tomatoes. And when I defrosted them, they smelled so… tomato-y. I don’t know if my tastebuds/nose have just been ruined by processed food, or if it was simply my general dislike of raw tomatoes, but I was almost gagging, and considered throwing them away and borrowing a can from my dad. Isn’t that crazy? I just don’t think of my yard as a wonderful natural setting; it seems less safe to me to grow stuff there than to get it from a factory. I can’t believe I just wrote that. Maybe it’s a New Jersey thing.

But — the gravy was excellent; it tasted about the same as usual. So maybe next summer I will get serious about using the tomatoes. We have a good-sized backyard plus a second, empty lot, so in theory we could grow quite a bit, if we could figure out the right things to grow!

3. Finally, I bought a Brita pitcher from ShopRite. (So, oh yeah, if you read my coupon post: that $163 included a $21 Brita!) I’m hoping that this will help us break our bottled water habit. We have filtered water from our fridge, but we are not good about changing the filter. Then, the other day, my husband rather off-handedly said that if I could see the water line that goes into the fridge, I wouldn’t drink that water. Awesome! Brita it is. Now I need metal water bottles for all of us, for when we are on the go.

Gravy-making and the Brita

Gravy-making and the Brita

10 responses to “You Say Tomato, I Say Bleahhh

  1. Pingback: Coupon Savings for This Week Are… and Other Updates | McGuire Domestic Enterprises·

  2. My whole yard is a garden with very little lawn! Something I would have reconsidered if I had my baby when I started it 🙂 Certainly I would like to have some lawn now and a place to put a swing or throw a ball.

    Our yard problem is that it’s small and mostly shaded so I’ve had to learn a lot about gardening in the shade. My veggie production is limited by the amount of space I have in one little patch that gets some sun. Last year I attempted growing my pumpkins upright because the vines spread out too much for my small space. (one year the vines took over the entire flat area of the yard and we literally had no where to walk) I looked at a bunch of blogs and things that I could construct but ended up training the vine up the railing of my deck. It worked out well because the summer was so wet that I heard most pumpkins and squash on the ground rotted. Lucky me!

    For the fun of growing pumpkins I recommend trying sugar pumpkins (these are the smaller ones used for cooking rather than for carving). It might just be a function of my yard, but I think they are more fun and are cute little things.

  3. Now I want to see pictures of your garden and especially these upright pumpkins. Are you on Instagram? Let me know. I just joined it.

    I would definitely like to grow pumpkins that we could eat. Last year the pumpkins did sprout and grow a little — they are dark green to start with, right? But got no further than that. I think we planted them too late too.

    Do you start from seeds or plants?

  4. Hmm how to best share garden photos with you?? I keep a garden photo journal on evernote. Maybe I should have been blogging …. i have had good luck starting pumpkin from seed (and tomato and herbs) other veggies like pepper, eggplant, I have not had good luck with seeds. The pumpkins and tomato always seem to work. I start them too late is my biggest issue.

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