When tomatoes attack

Jen with tomatoesTomatoes in the sock drawer. Popping up in the medicine cabinet. Even surrounding my cat as he sleeps. This is what happens when tomatoes attack. And this weekend they became so vicious the fire department had to intervene.

It all started in May when the hubby and I decided to plant a couple of tomatoes. We had one plant last year and this year we wanted more, because more is always better, right? And for some reason we think our little plot of land is the equivalent to 50 acres of bucolic farmland.

We planted the small Roma my co-worker had given us and then headed to the garden store. Time wasn’t on our side, so we grabbed a few seedlings and dashed out of the store.

My hubby prepared the soil. I sat back and pointed out all the things he was doing wrong. He dug. Then planted. He handed me the plant tags. I read them. What does indeterminate mean? I Googled. I stood up. I surveyed the area our new plants called home.

Uh oh. We now had two plants in a space that should have held one. Time still not on our side, we decided we’d deal with it later.

This is what the space looks like now:

Better Boy and Indigo Rose all snaggled together

Better Boy and Indigo Rose all snaggled together

We also realized we took home an interloper. We had an Indigo Rose, not a Better Boy. I Googled again. Well, these are some strange tomatoes. They turn purple as they are exposed to sunlight. Thinking they were ready when they turned purple (never mind that they were still green on the bottom), I ate a few very unripe tomatoes before realizing they turned purple first, and then red. This is what a ripe one looks like:

See how it's red on the underside

See how it’s red on the underside, not green

Now the end of summer is upon us and our four plants are churning out fruit faster than we can say two tasty tomato plants tangled together. Why we thought we needed four tomato plants, I don’t know. And we weren’t prepared for the ambush to come.

I found a sauce recipe online and began peeling and chopping.

The next week I made another batch of sauce and within a few days the tomatoes were back. They were multiplying… exponentially… times 64 squared. I mean, I had a ton of tomatoes and they were everywhere. Look at what happened to my house:

They escaped from the counter and ended up...

They escaped from the counter and ended up…

In the sock drawer (No, I don't pair my socks anymore. Who has time?)

In the sock drawer (No, I don’t pair my socks anymore. Who has time?)

In the medicine cabinet (Stop trying to read the bottle labels. I know you are)

In the medicine cabinet (Stop trying to read the bottle labels. I know you are.)

Surrounding my sleeping cat (He looks terrified, doesn't he?)

Surrounding my sleeping cat (He looks terrified, doesn’t he?)

Even in the fruit bowl (I guess that's not weird. Tomatoes are a fruit.)

Even in the fruit bowl (I guess that’s not weird. Tomatoes are a fruit.)

Finally the squirrels decided to help out. They need Lycopene too. But their little mouths and bellies were no match for the might of the tomatoes.

Squirrel doing best he can to slow the attack.

Squirrel doing what he can to slow the attack.

I decided to make sauce again. This time my hubby suggested we let it simmer over night. Well, he’s usually pretty smart and savvy in the kitchen. So, I went to bed with our yummy sauce bubbling away.

The next morning, as I prepared for my cousin’s upcoming wedding weekend, the carbon monoxide detector starting blaring. I silenced it. Two minutes later it alarmed. I silenced it again. And again it warned of certain death. Fine. I would love to have the fire department over. The house was embarrassingly messy, my hair was soaking wet, my fingernail polish was still drying, and we had to be out of the house in two hours.

The fire department to the rescue!

The fire department to the rescue!

Four men showed up armed with a contraception that looked like the ghost detector in Ghost Busters. They went right for the stove.  Yep, our simmering sauce was the culprit. The firemen aired out the house with a giant fan and gave us a tutorial on how to vent our little house.

The giant fan that saved our lives and scared our cats to death.

The giant fan that saved our lives, effectively dried my nail polish, and scared our cats to death.

We also learned that a wager was made on their way over. Stove versus water heater. One fireman was very lucky that day.

Now, as I look out my back window, I see more. They are coming and they must be eaten. What will I do with them? There must be something other than tomato sauce. Please help, before they attack again…

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9 thoughts on “When tomatoes attack

  1. Tamara says:

    Haha! Love this post and the awesome picture of you being attacked! Sheesh, can I relate! Right now our 5 foot tall bushes are thoroughly entwined into a gigantic tower, busting at the seams with tomatoes of all shapes, sizes, and colors, and just looming out of one of our 8 foot garden beds, like they’re looking for their next victim! No doubt; they’re a force to be reckoned with! It’s funny how there are so many varieties; roma, big boy, tomatillo, cherry, lemon cherry (oh, those are yellow!), and the list goes on and on. These fancy seeds seduce you at the beginning of the season and somehow we lose all sense of reason and plant WAY too many!! We wound up with 5 plants this year! And the REALLY sad thing?! I hate tomatoes! They’re all for Chris; poor guy! I soon expect to find tomatoes popping out of his ears. And did I mention we do this every single year? When will we ever learn??? 🙂

    • jennifer Windram says:

      You better watch out, tomatoes can become vicious. And they’re multiplying on my counter again. It’s almost like the Gremlins when you getter water on them (I just better be sure not to feed them after midnight!)

      I haven’t been very impressed with the Indigo Rose, but I’ve never tried the lemon cherry ones. Are they any good?

      And your poor husband, I can’t believe you have five plants and you don’t even like them. The funny thing is, I thought we were crazy for having four plants and then my hubby said his grandmother used plant at least twenty every year. Now I feel like a gardening wimp!

  2. Marcy Blankenship says:

    We didn’t get many this year. One of our heirloom varieties didn’t give us one tomato! You can throw some our way when I see you! The other two bushes got that stem end rot or whatever it is, anyway, something like that. Too many is better than too few. I have frozen them whole when freezing weather going to hit and then just throw them in a pot and let them stew down into a sauce later on. So easy, I am lazy that way.

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