Home Grown

Tired of tomatoes, and an easy casserole

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It doesn’t seem that long ago when I was worried I wouldn’t get enough tomatoes to stock up my pantry for the year. I remember my mom saying that she was sure I would either get sick of picking or canning tomatoes way before they would be done, and I couldn’t imagine that ever happening. Well, she was definitely right.

In the beginning, I was out snatching tomatoes off the plants as soon as they were ready to pick, but before they were ripe enough for the bugs to get to them. At this point, when I go out to pick tomatoes, I’m almost relieved when I find one that the bugs have already gotten to. One less tomato I have to deal with, and I figure, the bugs have to eat, too.

I have my pantry stocked with enough tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and salsa for the year, so I’m more than satisfied with my tomato crop. Especially since I still have four large ice cream pails of tomatoes ready to can, and the top of our freezer is covered with four flats of tomatoes getting ready for the next batch.

A month ago, I couldn’t imagine ever reaching a point where I would say that’s enough, but as this point, I’m ready for the tomatoes to end! The bugs are getting thicker in the garden, and I’m don’t enjoy holding my breath as I snatch the ripe tomatoes only to end up inhaling at least a couple of the nasty little things.

I would have thought things would start slowing down at this point, but instead they seem to be speeding up. I’m picking at least a gallon pail of tomatoes a day, and I’m running out of room to have them sit and ripen.

I shouldn’t complain though. Who knows what next year will bring? I should just get back to picking, canning and stock up, just in case next year I end up needing them.

This week I’m sharing a quick and easy crock pot recipe that I’ve made several times. I love simple recipes like this for days when I’m busy and need something quick to throw together, but it’s also a great one to make your own by adding ingredients or changing the seasonings to what your family likes. You can make it just the way the recipe says, or I’ve shared some tips on how you can switch it up, if you’d like to. Enjoy!

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