Giveaway: Mrs. Wages Tomato Mix Basket

Mrs. Wages mixes

Last Thursday, I went to the farmers market to pick up my second half bushel of apricots for the season. While there, I entered an altered state of preserving confidence and ended up also buying a flat of grape and cherry tomatoes. In my defense, they were just $15, which is an unheard of bargain for 12 pints of tiny tomatoes.

I tell you this story simply to illustrate the fact that tomato season is upon us. And what better way to get ready for tomato season than with a Mrs. Wages Tomato Mix giveaway!

Mrs. Wages basket

You combine your fresh tomatoes with these mixes (they all have instructions on the back of the packet) and suddenly you’re a salsa, pasta sauce, and bloody mary star. I’ve used several of these mixes in the past to great success. They’re particularly helpful in that moment when you’re overwhelmed by tomatoes and need to do something that doesn’t require a great deal of thought.

Here’s what the basket contains:

3 – small packages of pizza sauce mix
2 – mix and serve Classic Salsa packets
2 – small chili seasoning packets
1 – Spiced Carrot Juice mix packet
1 – Bloody Mary mix packet
1 – mix and serve Chipotle and Garlic Salsa packet
1 – mix and serve Guacamole packet
1 – mix and serve Pepper Jack Queso packet
2 – Large Pasta Sauce Packages
2 – Large Ketchup Packages
1 – Chili Base Package
1 – Large Pizza Sauce Package

If you’re interested in a chance to win this giant package of tomato canning goodness, here’s what you do.

  1. Leave a comment on this post and share your favorite way tomato memory! (Note: I had a copy and paste failure last night, and so for the first 12 hours this post was live, it asked for a berry memory. Oops! Those entries are still valid, but let’s switch to focusing on tomatoes.)
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm east coast time on Saturday, August 17, 2013. Winners will be chosen at random (using random.org) and will be posted to the blog on Sunday, August 18, 2013.
  3. Giveaway is open to US residents.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left on the blog, I cannot accept submissions via email.
Disclosure: I am a paid contributor to the monthly Mrs. Wages newsletter. However, this is not a paid giveaway and my opinions remain my own.Β 

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411 responses to “Giveaway: Mrs. Wages Tomato Mix Basket”

  1. My favorite berry memory is from when I was a kid. My little brother and I would go out in the yard and pick huckleberries for Sunday morning pancakes. Sourdough pancakes with fresh berries in them were the best! Our picking technique was terrible though… if we were in a hurry we’d shake the branch over the bowl and try to catch what fell. Oof!

  2. My favorite berry memory happened just today actually. After finding your blog with my boyfriend we decided to try or first canning. We went to the pick your own Berry field in town and picked 24 pounds of blueberries!! Over the course of the entire day we turned them into 16 pints of jams, experimenting with different recipes, froze 4 bags, and still have more than enough fresh!! We are drowning in blueberries!! Our favorite so Farris blueberry basil jam!

    Thank you for making this contest and keeping this blog! It has inspired is both so much to become canners!

  3. My favorite berry memory is the first time I canned strawberry jam with my daughter-in-love. She put Sinatra on the stereo, and the two of us tied on aprons and worked in her kitchen until all the strawberries were properly jammed. It was such fun. I called that time Sinatra and Strawberries.

  4. My grandfather had berries along the fence in his garden. Nothing better than picking berries and eating them right off the vine!!

  5. I remember picking berries and eating more than I ever put in the basket growing up. Blackberries were the worst since I was slow at picking them. Blueberries I had a chance of getting some back to the house.

  6. My favorite berry memory is from middle school summers, when I first realized that you could pick blackberries from the bushes along the road! Lots of scrapes and scratches from pawing through the thorns!

  7. Behind this one house we lived in when I was a kid, was what we called a gooseberry bush. It grew wild and every year we could count on there being berries in late summer. I have since tried looking for this same bush while out hiking, but no luck. They were delicious. They grew to be about the size of a medium marble and and had these light markings on them like lines radiating from the top to the bottom. Much like a drawing of a planet with lines going from top and following the contours to the bottom. This is my berry memory!

  8. I live in Western Washington, where blackberries are (literally!) a thorn in our side. They are an invasive weed and they grow everywhere — edges of schoolyards, by the highways, in vacant lots along the power lines. My dad and I would attach coffee cans to our belts with old coat hanger wire and then we would attach the blackberry bushes on the lot by the elementary school. We brought all these tools and makeshift devices to hold, cut back, or trample the bushes to get the berries that were deep in the bush. We would pick berries until our hands were scratched up, then come home and freeze them on cookie sheets to make cobbler and pie all year long. The first thing I ever canned was blackberry jam, processed in my dad’s canning pot that he bought 30 years prior, in his bachelor days!

  9. My favorite berry memory was when I was a child my mother would take me berry picking. It was special time with mom

  10. I remember coming home from school and mom saying we got some peaches to can and maybe make a batch of jam with.Then she went in the garage to come out with 3 bushels of peaches,we canned for days,for about 5 years I couldn’t swallow a canned peach.Thank God that went away,now they are a favorite again!!!

  11. My best berry memory will be this year seeing our strawberry plants covered in white blossoms. We had enough berries to eat, giveaway, freeze and make jam.

  12. What a wonderful giveaway! My fave berry memory, going to a U Pick It farm with my mom and picking blueberries. One for the basket and one for me! Good thing my mom was able to pick and not eat or we wouldn’t have had cobbler with ice cream that evening. Mmmmmmmm!

  13. i remember picking black berries down the road from our house we ate our fill there and would bring back buckets full of the large juicy berries for mom to make into jam and pies she was great at canning

  14. Love using Mrs. Wages products, always turns out good. My Mother taught me to can everything possible as a child, and I still enjoy doing this. I’m from a family of eight children and canning was an important part of our life. We had a peach , apple, cherry and pear tree. I really hated pitting cherries, but sure did like my Mom’s cherry pies, when the snow was on the grown. Also, would get tired of breaking green beans, always did bushel at one time, would get thirty quarts. We would do 130 jars a year. I’m the last woman in my family and still give home canned goods to family and friends. Great memories.

  15. I am brand new to this website and just got the book — really love both! My favorite berry ‘memory ‘is watching my 3 girls and our 3 blueberry bushes grow up together. My husband and I got them as tiny ‘baby’ bushes from a nursery a few years ago when we settled into our house in tiny plant pots. In the first year or so, we had about 2-3 berries per bush per summer. Now with my kids ages 6,3, and 10 months, this year they all were tickled to get to climb the ladder to reach the top ones and we are getting a bowlful per bush! So much fun!

  16. I love picking berries with my daughters. I especially love the look of joy on my youngest daughter’s face when she finds a good berry to pick and eat right off the plant.

  17. I live in Maine so BLUEBERRIES are great. I just last week made my Mom’s Blueberry Coffee Cake. Every time I pick up the tatterd card I think of my Mom and the smells of her kitchen in Plymouth Ma.

  18. I haven’t made it to any u-picks this year, so discounted berries at the grocery store have been my best berry stores this year. My grandmother has used Mrs. Wages’ for her pickles for decades.

  19. I was actually just talking about this. I remember going to this farm called Burrfields with my grandma and picking berries and corn. So simple but such a great memory

  20. I’ll never forget summer evenings as a child walking with my family along the railroad tracks and picking black raspberries!

  21. The first jam I ever made was blackberry jam, made from blackberries I picked in our yard. It was a pain to deal with the seeds, but it came out great.

  22. My best memory took place almost 50 years ago. I will never forget the exquisite flavor of the raspberries I plucked from a small patch in our suburban yard.

  23. My favorite berry memory is of my youngest sister discovering the strawberry patch in the backyard of our new house. She was a toddler and would go out there whenever she wanted a snack. Later on when she was in her teens she thought berry picking was beneath her, but i still remember that little berry stained face smiling up from our berry patch.

  24. My favorite berry memory is picking red raspberries with my grandma and making jelly. Haven’t had any as good as hers since then! I remember squeezing the juice through cheesecloth so not a seed would sneak through.

  25. My favorite berry memory was with my grandfather, actually more than one, we always picked blueberries off his high bushes together and he never gave me a hard time about how many I ate! It makes me sad that my daughter won’t get to do that with him here on earth, but happy that she will be able to in Heaven one day!

  26. My favorite berry memory was with my grandfather, actually more than one, we always picked blueberries off his high bushes together and he never gave me a hard time about how many I ate! It makes me sad that my daughter won’t get to do that with him here on earth, but happy that she will be able to in Heaven one day!

  27. My best berry memory is picking strawberries with my mom and dad in the 1970s. That memory has caused me to repeat it with my three girls. but we have expanded and now pick strawberries, sour cherries, and blueberries.

  28. When I was little and staying with my grandparents in the summertime, I would go outside with a large plastic pail to look for wild black raspberries growing around the edge if the yard and dirt road. I’d pick as much as I could and bring the berries back to my grandmother, for her to bake something with.

  29. Best berry memory- picking strawberries with my four kids at a local farm grower and then everybody helped clean and hull them while the shortbread was being made. Farm- to-table- yum!

  30. I lived in south Lousiana for a number of years and often had flats of strawberries to make into freezer jam and eat. Delicious!

  31. Favorite memory – my grandmother had raspberry bushes and I remember all the times going there to pick them. Also, in our first house when we got married had an over abundance of wild black raspberries. We could eat them to our hearts content. I miss those. Raspberries are so expensive in the store and I have little time to go pick fresh ones.

  32. My favorite berry memory is working at a summer resident camp and picking blueberries that grew wild. Early August, you could stand outside your tent and get a snack anytime. I remember having a contest where each unit made a blueberry dessert and the entire camp (about 220 females) walked in a line from one unit to the next to sample each recipe. Six recipes, two hours, one bellyache, priceless.

  33. I never had any contact with berries until, as an adult, I planted raspberries in my yard. I currently have three full gallon-sized freezer bags in my freezer, with more being picked daily. I smile every time I see the price of raspberries in the supermarket.

  34. Picking wild dewberries way out in the country in southern
    Texas with my husband and mother in law, going home and
    eating warm berries with thick, raw jersey cream and sugar
    while my mother in law made a huge berry cobbler that we
    got to enjoy later.

  35. during my last semester of grad school, I picked strawberries with some of my dearest friends that I had met over the past year and a half. I’ve since moved to another state for work, and strawberry picking under the Carolina sun is one of my fondest memories of my time there.

  36. My favorite berry memory is picking wild raspberries in our back yard with the kids. I hope it becomes their favorite berry memory too! Being able to walk into the backyard and pick such fresh goodness and make jam completes summer!

  37. I remember going berry-picking with my little brother’s friend’s family as a kid. We had a lot of fun and my mom used the berries to make pancakes forever, it seemed like.

  38. My favorite berry memory was last year when I discovered mulberry trees down the road and dragged my sister and some tarps to collect them. We couldn’t stop laughing as we lay our tarps out in the road and shook the trees, laughing even harder when someone drive by and gawked at us, trying to figure out what we were doing. Sadly, they cut those trees down in the fall, but the memory will surely last.

  39. Being six years old and picking wild blackberry on my grandparents farm in Savannah ,Ga.Was the first time I had ever had them.So it was love at first bit.

  40. My favorite memory is from 18 years ago, pulling my little ones in the wagon with the berry bowl… they sat and ate while I picked. We usually ended up with enough for a berry pie – after they fell asleep in the wagon that is.

    • It is hard to choose just one favorite way! I put up my tomatoes in so many different ways. I love making a variety of tomato preserves. My husband does a new variation of his salsa each year, always starting out with Mrs. Wage’s Salsa seasoniing and improvising as he goes. Then of course there are infinite possibilities in the sauce arena, depending upon what other goodies are ready in my garden. I love adding all my little cherry tomatoes to my jars of sauce to top them off. And we also sundry huge amounts to use throughout the winter. I teach canning through my small business if interested in doing some hands on training. http://www.maryswholesomeliving.com

  41. My favorite berry memory is a recent one. I finally figured out that if I put blueberries in with the pancake batter, the batter is going to come out a funny shade of blue. Now I pour out plain pancake batter, drop about 5 blueberries onto the raw top, then flip as usual. I get perfect pancakes!

  42. My favorite berry memory is both an old and new one. My grandmothers cooking was legendary in our family. We ALL coveted my grandmothers casseroles, sauces and of course jam, both savory and sweet. Before she passed away, my cousins assembled a cookbook of her best loved recipes and in it is a blueberry pie recipe that is to die for. Ive made it many times in the past few years and everyone LOVES IT. This past year my brother and I have been visiting a U Pick Farm about 40 minutes from home to pick our own fruit. We picked 15 pounds of blueberries a few weekends ago and went home and both made jam AND my grandmothers pie. It iwas incredible to feel that my grandmother is still with us, since we both went to our own homes and paid homage to her by making her pie just as her recipe suggests. Old traditions tie a family together, but new traditions keep the knot tight.

  43. My favorite berry picking memory is happening this month! I’m picking the blackberries up high, my dog is eating the ones down low….she loves them!

  44. Berries – Blackberry cakes baked by my Grandma with fresh berries her grandchildren would pick in the woods on the hill by her house.

  45. When I was a kid, Mom would send me out each spring with coffee cans tied to my bike’s handlebars and a cardboard box in the basket. After pedaling down the road a few miles, I’d stop at a local farm and pick strawberries until I couldn’t fit anymore in my containers. Then home again, to make batches of freezer jam . . . usually dripping jam down the cupboards when I filled jars. Fun times!

  46. Picking blueberries with my daughter when she was young, and then reading “Blueberries for Sal” later that evening πŸ™‚

  47. My favorite memory is one of many as a child watching my grandmother make strawberry, grape, blueberry and blackberry preserves, I was always in awe at the smile on her face and the pride she had in her jellies. I didnt have many years with my grandmother but as an adult I add a new jelly each year to my collection of wonderful memories with her.

  48. Hey! Wasn’t your favorite berry story for the last give-away? How about my favorite tomato memory? One year, my tiny 10′ X 12′ garden yielded so many tomatoes, I canned 16 quarts of whole and stewed tomatoes. We had the absolute best spaghetti, stews, and chili that following year. I’ve never had that kind of tomato success since then. Sigh.

  49. All the posts are about berries above, so I am feeling a little confused, since I thought the comments were supposed to be about tomatoes…. Maybe I am off track computer-wise today.
    My favorite way to preserve tomatoes is to make tomato jam. I used your recipe to start with, and we love it. Also like your tomato chutney recipe and just found your peach and yellow tomato jam recipe that I will try soon. I love making the tomato jams because I don’t need to peel the tomatoes πŸ™‚
    As far as berries go, my favorite memory is taking my kids berry picking in S. Carolina when they were little. They were small, so the bending over was no problem for them. My sister and I were about crippled though. They ate so many. we barely had enough for a pie. Good day.

  50. My favorite memory is taking my nephews and nieces berry picking and my poor nephew Christian getting stuck in the middle of the berry patch. We made berry jam and berry ice cream with what we picked.

  51. My favorite memory of tomatoes is from my first canning experience. My kitchen was a disaster and I had no clue what I was doing but somehow managed to can a few jars of salsa and they turned out great! I have to give my father-in-law a jar of salsa every time he comes to visit us!

  52. My favorite tomato memory is probably making fresh salsa with my sister frequently on Friday nights. This gets our weekend started off in a delicious direction!

  53. I just love seeing my kids pop cherry and grape tomatoes straight from our tomato patch!! We did find seeds on the back of my son’s neck….guilty!

  54. To be very honest, the first time I remember eating a raw tomato was 8 years ago when I grew my very own! Since then I’ve been a total convert, growing and canning as many as I am able to every summer.

  55. My favorite memory is canning tomatoes with my mom.We didn’t make anything special,But those memories are Priceless. I’m very grateful to have had a mother to teach me the art of canning.

  56. We have been growing heirloom tomatoes in our garden and I love watching them grow and ripen with my two little girls. They are as invested in our crops as we are and they love eating the bounty. Great way to get your kids to eat all their vegetables.

  57. The first year I grew heirloom tomatoes, one of my varieties was German Pink. I remember the color looking so odd on the vine. So… pink. I thought they were underripe, but they FELT right, so I picked one and tried a bite. Favorite tomato memory: finishing the whole lovely thing right in my sunny tomato patch.

  58. My favorite tomato memory is picking the giant red tomatoes with my mom and then being grossed out when she ate them; sliced thick with salt and pepper! Plain tomatoes have never been my favorite, but I love creating soups, stews, salsas and sauces with them now πŸ™‚

  59. The first year I grew heirloom tomatoes was such a life changer. I never knew until then what real tomatoes tasted like.

  60. I remember as a child going to Mt. Baker with my mom and dad picking some early little blueberries. I don’t even know if they were blueberries now, but I remember the fun I had.

  61. I would be making new tomato memories with my first ever tomatoes from my garden. I have high hopes for sauce and salsa!!

  62. Made the best one this, yr. Teasing my 8 yr old about never getting any of the cherry tom’s cause he keeps sneaking into the garden and eating them up. So much we had to put in 3 extra cherry tom plants for fall. Maybe I’ll finally get some hehe

  63. My grandfather had a huge garden and would bring multiple five gallon buckets of tomatoes for my mother to can. My sisters and I would steal them prettiest tomatoes and eat them like other people eat apples. We never got sick of them.

  64. Tomato memory- the year that I joined a community garden and planted my little tomato seedlings and then the wonderful wonderful harvest! Learning to can came later but now I am hooked!

  65. My “oldest” memory of berry picking comes from my childhood. Whenever my sister, cousin and I would walk to the store, we would pass a wild blackberry patch. On our way back, we would jump the ditch and pick as many of the berries as we could carry. We would eat them on our walk back home. I remember them being so wonderfully sweet and delicious!! A big treat for us!

  66. Being a new gardener, I don’t really have a tomato story to share about my own garden. But I do have fond memories of growing up and going next door to my elderly neighbor’s garden, who ONLY did tomatoes, and lots of them. I remember hundreds of tomato plants, but in reality he did about 100 tomato plants, all varieties, and he canned them all. Being a kid, I didn’t get it, but man, I droll now thinking about that many tomato plants!

  67. Favorite berry memory:

    While strawberry picking with the family, we competed to see who could get the biggest berries,.My 4 year old nephew was quiety throwing the biggest ones out of our baskets because he didn’t like the color red. Oh yeah, when we returned home I made strawberry jam and mini strawberry thumprint cookies – but he wasn’t touching or eating anything red.

  68. I love the smell of canned tomatoes. In the middle of winter, I feel summery πŸ™‚ I have tries the pasta sauce package- it was delicious!!

  69. My favorite tomato memory is from the first year I really focused on putting up produce from our garden. I worked really hard that summer to carefully can dozens of jars of pickles, jams, salsa, and tomatoes every which way I could think of. We had one whole shelf in the basement dedicated to our canning. My husband showed his grandma (then 83 years old) a picture of our stores, and she smiled at him, patted his hand, and said, “She is going to take good care of you, Ryan.” It brings tears to my eyes even now, thinking about it.

  70. When I was a child, I used to hate tomatoes. So much that even on BLT, I would ask to have the T replaced by something like cheese. Now that I grow my own tomatoes, I love them. I remember planting and growing my first tomatoes when we moved into our first actual home. It was a revelation to have a warm, fresh off the vine tomato.

  71. Today is my first day on this site (recommended by a colleague), so I thought I’d share…

    My favorite tomato memory is actually very recent. We have recently started raising chickens. I think I am in love with the silly little birds and their quirky ways. Their favorite plants in my 14’X20′ garden? My tomato plants. They would grab the green tomatoes and run from me as I tried to grab them to get them back into their part of the yard. My daughter and I would laugh and run around chasing chickens for what seemed like hours. We finally put up double fences and now we have some beautiful red ripe tomatoes. But every-so-often I throw the chickens a tomato or two just as a treat. They love them and it reminds me of the fun my daughter and I had in the garden.

  72. Growing up, our neighbor across the street would can tomatoes. It was our job, to make sure the jars sealed properly. I am sure she double checked our work. That was almost 50 years ago. Sweet memories.

  73. I canned tomato sauce for the first time last year, and Mrs. Wages is what I used for every jar. SO YUMMY! It was all a good memory for me πŸ™‚

  74. When I was small, my grandpa grew a small garden (before he got too ill to keep it up). They lived several hours away, and we rarely got to see them, but I still remember Grandpa’s classic tomato sandwiches, thick sliced juicy red tomatoes from his garden, made with so much love.

  75. I love the yellow cherry tomatoes and grow them every year. My favorite memory is when my grandson, who was 8 at the time, came to visit. I showed him my garden and we ate all the ripe yellow cherry tomatoes we could find off the plants. He loved them as much as I did.

  76. I’m not sure if I have a favorite specific memory, but I have many memories of picking tomatoes directly from the plant and just eating them. Still warm from the sun and all, they taste so wonderful! Last year I canned a crate of plum tomatoes and that was a crazy new memory….

  77. I love Mrs. Wages! My sister & I used to pick berries during the summer when we were in high school. The rule was that we had to pick enough to get paid about double what it would cost to get into the local swimming pool. Half of what we made was put into our savings accounts and we got to spend the rest of the afternoon playing with friends at the pool. I remember the first time I had a BLT was on one of these afternoons as a friend’s specific request to my mom for a snack. We were always SO hungry when we finally came home.

  78. I remember sitting in my grandmas garden eating tomatoes off the vine. I also remember that they were the sweetest tomatoes ever, and I search every summer for tomatoes that bring me back to that moment

  79. We had a HUGE garden growing up. I always looked forward to eating fresh tomatoes at dinner time. When it came time to freeze them, my sister and I would peel tomatoes until the acid would make our skin itch. We didn’t know about blanching them to easily get the skins off. Good times!

  80. Oh, my heavens!! Most of those mixes I’ve never seen around here. I do use Mrs. Wage’s salsa mix and my family just loves it. Would love to win the basket and try all the different mixes.

  81. I recently came across your blog. I’m very much a beginning canner, so I really appreciate all of your posts!

    My favorite tomato memory is coming into the kitchen to find my then 18 month old sitting on the counter, eating a tomato like it was an apple. It made a really cute picture. πŸ™‚

  82. My family comes from a rural background and I can remember starting in the canning process very young. There is something wonderful about learning to garden, picking the ripe fruit and making all sorts of “summer treasures” to enjoy in the winter. Oh! the simple joy of picking ripe tomatoes and the fragrance of a ripe peach.

  83. I would say the year we planted 58 tomato plants – and they all LIVED. I made tomato everything that year. My canner was never idle. I sure wish I had more this year – it has been a bad year for gardening in my area.

  84. The grilled cheese and tomatoes on toast my mum used to make for lunch in winter. Cooked open face under a broiler so the cheese was all bubbly and the tomatoes all grilled to perfection. Trying to eat it without burning my mouth.

  85. All time best tomato memory is of Mom making tomato preserves. They were always delicious, and no one has yet replicated her recipe. Best as I can recall, she just used tomatoes and sugar. But, one time the sugar crystallized in the jars. She had a very credible explanation for it, but I don’t remember what it was. Maybe cooking too long? I dunno. Even with the sugar crystals, it was wonderful stuff! Especially licking those tomato flavored sugar crystals from the paraffin on top.

  86. I remember when my sister popped a cherry tomato into her mouth thinking it was a grape. She gagged and spit and hated tomatoes for a very long time. She didn’t think it was very funny but I thought it was hilarious! As an adult she finally tried tomatoes again and decided they aren’t so terrible after all.

  87. It’s not even a memory yet – I just picked wonderful yellow and red tomatoes from my garden, cut them up and had them for lunch with some tuna and cottage cheese. Yummy!!

  88. When I was growing up my Daddy always had tomatoes growing. HOWEVER, we never canned any because all of us are tomato-rootin’ hogs! We barely made it past green tomatoes without eating the biggest, best ones fried. And when we let them slip through and actually ripen on the vine, we would stand there and eat them right in the garden. Very occasionally they would make it inside for supper where we would actually ignore whatever else was on the plate and fight over the largest slices!

  89. When I was a kid my favorite time of year was strawberry picking when we would go to the upick farm and pick strawberries.. I’m sure I ate more than I picked!

  90. One year, an early frost was predicted, and all of our tomatoes were sitting on the vine, still green. We hurriedly picked hundreds of plum tomatoes, and spread them out on newspapers to ripen. A couple of weeks later, they were ripe enough to eat, and we canned a whole bunch of juice and chopped tomatoes.

  91. My fondest memories of tomatoes is 2 years ago when I thought I’d be industrious and planted 160 plants (heirloom, roma, yellow pear, etc.) Needless to say, I had plenty of tomatoes to can, freeze, make into salsa, tomato jam (my favorite) as well as sauce, etc.

    The sweet flavor of canned tomatoes in the fall when you open a jar to add to your favorite soup or sauce recipe is a small reminder of the wonderful taste of summer.

  92. My favorite memory is the day my mother came outside to find each of her tomatoes with a single bite out of them and carefully lined up in a neat row…with our resident groundhog lying on his back on her chaise lounge chair. No joke! She gave up on her garden that day and bought several pounds of tomatoes from the store.

  93. I vividly remember pulling cherry tomatoes off the vine growing up in the Chicago suburbs and that *super fresh* taste that store bought or even farmer’s market bought tomatoes don’t have. That’s summer in a nutshell to me to this day.

  94. I’m still working on my ability to enjoy a raw tomato, but that doesn’t stop me from growing them with gusto each year for canning. I will never forget my first jar of canned spaghetti sauce that I made when I was 20- tasted like pure satisfaction πŸ˜‰

  95. My favorite tomato memory is of “treasure hunts” in the garden with my father. We would search through the lush greenery, and the treasure (for me0 was most often a sweet yellow pear tomato. Needless to say, few made it as far as the house…

  96. My favorite memory is when my four year old niece ate through half a bowl of bruscetta that I had made to take to a friends. I had you the last of my tomatoes and couldn’t make more. The look of enjoyment and joy on her face was worth the stop at the store to get a new batch and let her enjoy this one.

  97. Tomato sandwiches in August at the New Jersey shore. Bread must be toasted; mayo must be Hellman’s; a light sprinkling of salt (or Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning); sliced Jersey tomatoes. I still make these in August in the city with farmer’s market tomatoes, but there’s really nothing like a Jersey tomato.

  98. It’s a tie between 2 memories. I will never forget the day in high school when we caught our dog, Baby, stealing green tomatoes off of the tomato plants (she never tried to eat the leaves thankfully). I also have many fond memories growing up of making homemade pizza and getting to spread the tomato sauce onto the freshly patted out dough.

  99. My favorite tomato memory involves my twin and I helping my mother oreserve batch after batch of tomatoes. We grew our own and there were always plenty for our family of seven to have tomatoes all winter. As the youngest it was our job to wash/prep the tomatoes and as we got older our responsibilities grew to blanching and peeling. We usually just canned them whole, but once in a while we would make large batches of a very simple tomato sauce.

  100. This is my first year to start everything from seed. I decided I wanted 4 different types of tomatoes, and instead of starting only a few tomatoes from each packet … I did them all. And since I started all of them I decided to put all of them in the garden. My garden is swimming in tomatoes! I hardly have room for anything else. Oy!

  101. My favorite memory is growing tomatoes in my first garden three years ago and harvesting my first batch for making homemade salsa. Wish I had started long ago.

  102. Being raised as a city girl, I loved the days spent on my grandparent’s farm in NC and the ability to pluck sun kissed ripe tomatoes right of the vine for our tomato sandwich lunches.

  103. I used to have a plant nursery when I was younger. I remember a big storm the end of May brought a wet snow covering my huge cold frame full of tomato plants in gallon pots. I only lost a few plants out of over a thousand plants.

  104. I love tomatoes very much when they are fresh from my garden. I did try canning last year for the first time. I don’t have much faith in my abilities, so I need every help I can get. I still wait on affording a pressure cooker for intense canning, but I do have the boiling pot and jars. I would like to branch out in canning, so I love this blog. Happy canning!

  105. My mother used to grow tomatoes next to the south side of our white garage. She put old tires around the plants. They would just go crazy with the heat and bright sun reflection.

  106. What a great giveaway–thanks! I have way too many tomato memories, but I think the best was my first-ever batch of canned tomato sauce a few years ago. It’s so satisfying to set in a stock of something you know you’re going to eat and love all winter.

  107. As a city kid, visiting my great-grandmother and eating fresh tomatoes out of her garden! The difference in taste and texture were amazing!

  108. Wow, what a giveaway! Thanks. The memory I have is fresh. It’s coming home from work and seeing how many tomatoes I have left. Every day there are less and less. The chipmunks and sometimes the squirrels take all my tomatoes. I’m lucky if I get one or two cherry tomatoes. I don’t know why I waste my time every year growing plants from seed, when I rarely get any tomatoes at all. I just bought 6 at the farmers market, though I have probably 10 tomato plants at home. Argh.

  109. Making tomato sauce for the first time, laughing with my husband about the mess I made, and then the amazing first taste. Yum!

  110. Tomato & peanut butter sandwiches. I used to think my dad was weird to eat them, but then I tried one – YUMMY! I even order my PB&J @ quiznos with tomatoes on top!

  111. My favorite tomato memory would have to be the first tomato mayo sandwich I ate with my great grandmother on fresh bread… mmmm

  112. I remember when I was a kid, we were taking some fresh out of the garden tomatoes to Grandma. I asked if I could eat some, Mom said yes. I had eaten most of them by the time we got to Grandma’s house. Mom was mad, but not too mad. I did save the big ones for slicing.

  113. When I was little my dad used to have a huge garden in the backyard and I would wander through and munch on all the fruits and vegetables. I remember one summer he found me asleep in the tomatoes with veggie carcases all around :). Good times

  114. When my daughter was 4 or 5 she was in the garden helping pick yellow pear tomatoes, and her basket was not filling up very fast and she told me she was picking a lot of tomatoes. I decided to watch her for a few minutes and found out that one tomato for basket – one tomato for her, LOL she was stuffing them in like a chipmunk, I think what makes this even funnier is that as a teen ager she hates tomatoes.

  115. I started growing heirloom tomatoes in my own garden about a decade ago. The first year I grew 7 different colored heirlooms and had a blast eating them fresh and comparing flavors and textures.

  116. Picking warm from the vine, my grandma would pull the salt shaker from her apron pocket and we would stand in the garden and eat tomatoes until we were full. Happy thoughts for the day!

  117. I love tomatoes especially the smaller little grape tomatoes. We called them “Tommy Toes”” when I was growing up. I could eat them right from the garden. Today I can eat a tomato in any form, soup, stew, salsa, gravy, banana and tomato sandwich, regular tomato sandwiches. YUMMY!!!

  118. Eating them warm from the garden. Holding them like an apple in one hand, with a salt shaker in the other. Salt, bite, repeat.

  119. My favorite tomato memory has to be from last year. My 3 year old son helped plant and grow his first tomatoes. His reactions as he watched them grow were priceless. Even better was when he got to eat them. He was so proud of himself. I’ll look forward to it every year.

  120. I’ve been canning for years, but last year was one of my best memories! I dragged my mom to come to the house and can with me. During canning, she gave me all kinds of stories about when she was a kid and what it was like gardening with her dad, my grandpa, and canning with her mom, my grandma! All kinds of stories I had never heard before, and all while spending some great quality time with my mom canning!! Great day! One for the memory books!!

  121. One year my dad planted about 20 plants. To our dismay they were mislabeled and were all cherry tomatoes! We had buckets full.

  122. When we were little, my mom would often take us ouside for lunchtime. We’d pick tomatoes sun-warmed off the vine, pick green beans, cucumbers, radishes, and pull some carrots for a terrific lunch in the gardens. We’d drink ice-cold water right from the hydrant, and then go find some raspberries, gooseberries, or june berries for dessert. It was great!

  123. Picking tomatoes from my grandparent’s garden, running to get them sliced & salted while they were still warm from the sun.

  124. One of my favorite memories associated to tomatoes is my grandfather eating tomatoes right off the vine with a little salt. I never quiet “got it.” Until my first year of growing tomatoes. That is when I discovered how perfect a single bite can be.

  125. When I was in my teens, my mother, brother and I lived in a “summer” cottage next to a manmade lake in Rhode Island. Being a “summer” cottage meant that we had to take a hair dryer to the water pipes in the winter to thaw them. Although the house was small, we had a nicely sized yard and my mom loved to garden. One year she decided to plant tomatoes by our old septic system. The plants ended up taller than me, with huge fruits. She kept planting them there every year and people were always amazed at her tomatoes color, size and taste!

  126. My mom used to do a ton of canning when we were kids. Recently my husband and I have tried it out and are having a lot of fun with it (Mom gave us all her equipment!). The smells bring back so many memories, and sharing those with my husband is wonderful!

  127. I love tomatoes in any form, but enjoy having some bruschetta canned up, ready to eat in December. This week, I’ve been dreaming of marinara sauce – I’m taking that as a sign that I should make some this weekend!

  128. My great-grandparents and grandparents both farmed acres of veggies while I was growing up. I learned to count money “helping” at their farm stand, making change for the people who stopped by. My favorite veggie memories (including tomatoes) are from their stands – grabbing tomatoes or green beans right out of the bushel baskets to eat, drawing smiley faces on the watermelons and muskmelons, and showing people how to pick out good ears of corn πŸ™‚

  129. My favorite memory is the first time I tried to can tomatoes. They were on sale and in my excitement I miscalculated pounds per bushel and accidentally ended up with 200 lbs of tomatoes. It was a fun couple of days trying to get them all put up, but they lasted all winter and I was happy I put in the work.

  130. My dad has grown tomatoes most of my life. When I lived on my own, I loved the comfort I would feel when I popped open a jar of his canned tomatoes all alone in my apartment to make a small roast with carrots and potatoes in my crock pot.

  131. Just spending time with my Grandfather in the garden is a very fond childhood memory. We had an acre garden and he kept it weeded and cared for well into his 90’s!!

  132. I have very fond memories of going to the tomato farm in early August every year as a child with my family (parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins). We would pick tomatoes all day, and have a picnic for lunch – and sometimes it was KFC for an added treat. We would bring home bushels and bushels of fresh picked Roma tomatoes, mom would wash them, then lay them down on blankets spread across the basement floor to fully dry and ripen. Walking down the steps to the sea of tomatoes, the aroma of the fresh ripening tomatoes was so sweet to my nose. I miss those days… everything about them. Thanks for the walk down memory lane. Both parents have passed, and I’m hoping to one day sit with one of my aunts or someone who makes sauce the way we did so that I can carry on the the tomato canning tradition. There’s nothing like it in the world.

  133. I love everything about canning tomoatoes… peach & tomoatoe salsa, spaghetti sauce, stewed tomoates. I love being about to eat what I grow all year long!! Home grown tomoatoes just taste better!

  134. My best tomato memory happened just a few weeks ago…my son and I went to our plot at the community garden and he noticed several ripe ones. He started screaming, “we’re in business, we’re in business” He’s 5 and is so proud of our tomatoes.

  135. I grew up in a semi-developed area and we used to be able to pick tiny blueberries, huckleberries, and strawberries. My latest berry love is Juneberries. So delicious!

  136. WOW, what a great giveaway someone is sure to enjoy this one. I have about 200 tomato plants in my garden, in fact they have their own garden here. I make all of our own ketchup, pasta sauce, chili sauce, salsa, and pizza sauce, and what ever else I can come up with. I mostly use Mrs. Wages for all of these, plus all my pickles, it’s so easy and convenient, everything is in the package.

  137. My favorite funny tomato canning memory was going to Europe with my mom, sister, and grandma for a once in a life time trip and it just happened to be during the huge tomato push. My Dad ended up canning almost 100 quarts of tomato sauce without us, but lucky for him his brother who he literally never sees (maybe 3 times in 15 years) happened to drive up to see visit (lives multiple states away) and helped him. The thought of them canning and canning while we were in Italy and France is pretty funny to all us girls!

    And the cat had kittens in their closet while we were gone too…kept him hopping!

  138. I LOVE Mrs. Wages mixes. I used the pasta sauce mix and salsa just a couple weeks ago when my tomatoes were in full swing.

    My only memory is working the garden with my Dad during high school, and thinking I will NEVER plant all these tomatoes when I am grown. But lo and behold, I plant 20-30 plants every year and am getting my daughter into it as well. Great lessons to be learned from growing up gardening.

  139. I haven’t canned tomatoes yet, but that is my next project. My best memories of tomatoes are from my grandmother, making tomato sauce. The smells in the kitchen were heavenly. When she wasn’t looking, I would grab the ladle, put some of the cooked sauce in a little bowl, grab some sourdough bread and run for the backyard.

  140. My favorite memory is my only one. I just started canning last year and tomatoes were all I accomplished! I hope to be more creative this year. I would love to make katchup.

  141. I remember the smell of the tomato vines when the hot Mississippi sun came up and my grandparents would go out to pick some ripe tomatoes for breakfast. My grandmother would make hot buttered biscuits and we’d eat sliced tomatoes with all that butter running down our chin!! But the smell of the vines lasted on their clothes and it remains one of those smells that stay with you forever.. That’s why having tomatoes in the garden will always be something for me.

  142. Oh, my best tomato memories were summers with my grandparents. Lunchtime, head out to the garden to pick fresh lettuce and a couple ripe tomatoes for BLT sandwiches. My grandma would peel them, slice them really thin for the sandwiches, then slice some more for eating. I would stand there and eat all the thick slices with a little salt and pepper while she made the bacon. Usually, I had to head back out to pick another tomato. Thanks for facilitating that memory!

  143. I learned how to make the best salsa fresca after moving to California in 1997, and ever since then it has been a tradition to make it whenever we have friends or family over for a summer barbecue.

  144. I have so many wonderful tomato memories – from visiting Grandpa’s garden to making spaghetti sauce with Grandma to those days of biking to softball practice while eating a tomato just like an apple because the early season ones had just come in. Most recently, I was visiting Nashville last year and had the pleasure of enjoying a BLT sandwich where in place of the traditional T slice, I had a couple of slices of Fried Green Tomato. Delish!!

  145. My grandmother grew up on a farm in Oregon and made the best pies in the world. She could make them blindfolded! One year when we took the kids up to visit my cousin came along but his wife could not. She had learned to love our Mimi’s pies as well. So as a surprise for her
    my grandmother made a Marionberry pie, froze it, wrapped it up good and snug and packed it in his suitcase. When my cousin’s wife picked him up from the airport she was dismayed to see some purplish staining on one edge of the suitcase. Imagine their surprise when they got home, opened the suitcase and discovered the berries in the pie had exploded ! That was the last time any of us tried bringing Mimi’s pies home – instead we gorged on them while visiting her.

  146. My favorite tomato memory is when I made ketchup for the first time. Totally changed my view of what ketchup could be!!

  147. I remember the first time I had a costoluto genovese tomato. Transformative.

    I also remember growing black cherry tomatoes from seed. I loved their deep flavor, but my father thought they were ugly. He has since passed away, and oddly enough, they always make me think of him.

  148. Oh the tomatoes! Too many to eat all at once so sharing them with neighbors, laughing at the occasional odd shaped one.

  149. My absolute best tomato memory was enjoying my first BLT using homegrown, sun-ripe tomatoes from the garden. My-oh-my, but nothing since has tasted better than that!

  150. I have been growing tomatos since I have been married, I have never canded them but I would liken to try. I love giving my veggie surplus to friends and family. Once I made a cherry tomato vinger like etheryou do cucumbers. They were the frist thing to go at a church get-to-gether.

  151. Last year a friend came over to help with my garden. I had 18 tomato plants, he picked all the suckers from between the leaves on the vine. By doing that the tomatoes looked like skinny trees, almost NO fruit I ended up buying tomatoes at the local farmers market to can.

    This year, all the “suckers” were left on and I will have a bumper crop!!

    BEv

  152. Tomatoes memory… My first time as an adult growing them was about 8 years ago. I still cannot believe how good the first one tasted. I plant more and more of different varieties every year!

  153. My favorite tomato memory is having little yellow pear tomatoes as a kid. Now I don’t feel like my garden is complete without one pear tomato plant. These mixes sound intriguing. Thanks for sharing.

  154. My favorite memory is of having canned tomatoes (peeled but whole), made by my Grandma. I used to help her get the ‘bubbles’ out with the wooden spoon. Now, I freeze my tomatoes whole but love to can tomato sauce! I love Mrs. Wages’ salsa mix…yummy!

  155. Favorite tomato memory? Hmmm, would have to be the first time I remember eating tomatoes with my Grandpa Bub. He eats a tomato like it was an apple, and I had never seen someone do that before. It blew my little five year-old (ish) mind! Sometimes he’d put salt on it, but sometimes he’d put sugar on it. I remember sitting there trying to eat it just like he did, and making a horrible mess of it. He just complained I was making a mess, smiled and gave me another to try again. πŸ™‚

  156. Oh, I would love to win. My favorite memory is sitting in my parents garden hunting all the cherry tomatoes and eating them until I had a tummy ache.

  157. The smell of summer has always been the smell of tomato plants to me. I have many fond memories of sitting in my grandpa’s garden when I was little and eating wonderful, sun-warmed, juicy tomatoes right off the vine! Then grandpa would make his famous salsa. When we’d get to the little bits of tortilla chips at the bottom of the bag, we’d dump them into the bowl of salsa and eat it with a spoon.

  158. I still vividly remember eating cherry tomatoes off the vines at my grandfather’s house when he was still alive. He was an avid gardener, and always had the most beautiful tomato plants.

  159. Ahh, Imagine that I have been working the garden around the tomatoes, my adult son comes by and gives me a hug and tells me “mom you smell like you did when I was little”. :). Gotta love the way tomato plants smell.

  160. I remember growing awesome heirloom tomatoes when I lived in the hot foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. So much sun gave us juicy, ripe, best eaten straight off the vine, tomatoes. Ahhhh. Now I live in a shady cool area near the Washington/Canada border and can’t grow them anymore. πŸ™

  161. When my daughter was about 18 months old, she loved to pick tomatoes and bite into them. The juice would run down her chin and she would just grin!

  162. My favorite tomato canning memory would be the salsa I made last year. It was my first attempt at canning anything tomatoey, and my husband loved it! Nice to please the ones you love!!!!

  163. Last year I was at a party where they had a tomato pie. I had never had one before and it is really tasty. Tomatoes, parmesan,butter and a pie crust is all that is needed. I went ahead and made two pie crusts so I could whip up a fresh berry (blackberry and raspberry) pie for dessert. Go ahead and give it a try, so easy.

  164. My wife used to be the tomato grower but I have started growing them and so far we have 2 tomatoes. We usually have dozens by now. How did she do it? I remember how good they would taste, too.

  165. My mom grows tons of tomatoes – usually about 25 plants for just herself – it is her favorite food. I think she has eaten 12 tomatoes in one day! She would enjoy this – as we can together. My favorite memory is going over each summer to help can salsa — and laughing while we all cry from the fumes of the onions and peppers!

  166. my grandpa was a farmer with a green thumb. my dad was an average gardener. I remember my dad buying big red tomatoes from the grocery — then he and I posed strategically holding the grocery tomatoes near our tomato plants (which were leafy, but yielded no fruit). then my dad sent the picture to his dad, showing off. πŸ™‚ don’t know if he ever revealed the joke, but I liked being in on it.

  167. I was always the vegetable gardener in my family. I would grow stuff I would never eat in a million year (radishes, kohlrabi, mustard greens) but I love tomatoes even though my mom says I used to break out in a rash after I would eat them. My grandma would sprinkle sugar on them and we would eat them like candy. I have about 50 plants now of all different types. first year canning! (I usually freeze but have run out of freezer space early this year)

  168. Last year I made two batches of your tomato jam with surplus from friends’ gardens. So delicious and a wonderful way to share tomatoes with friends in a new way (most people hadn’t heard of tomato jam before).

  169. My favorite tomato memory is going into my parents’ garden and picking them straight off the vine to eat right there. Cherry tomatoes get popped whole, and larger tomatoes were eaten just like an apple. No better indication of summer than that!

  170. My favorite memory is of visiting my grandparents in Dufur, Or and my grandpa picking tiny pear tomatoes for me. I swear they were the only real, fresh tomatoes I had until college! And they were amazing. My own pear tomatoes are just starting to ripen!

  171. I’m not sure I really have a favorite tomato memory. I just really love tomatoes. A friend tried to convince me I should stop eating nightshades because that had really helped her with some body ache issues and I tried but I’m Hispanic, I don’t think I could live if I can’t have salsa…

  172. One of my favorite memories, eating fried green tomatoes. My mother made them every year. She had even canned green tomatoes so we had fried green ones in winter. I still have to make myself a plate of them every year!!! Looking forward to some!!

  173. Every year on the 4th of July my mom and step-dad would can quarts and quarts of tomato juice from John’s Island, SC tomatoes. Bloody Marys for the rest of the year. πŸ™‚

  174. This happened just a couple years ago – but tasting my first homegrown Cherokee purple tomato. It was amazing. So incredibly sweet.

  175. Hmmm….my Midwestern childhood was full of tomatoes from grandpa’s garden. Plates of slice domes in the summer, home-canned sauce and stewed tomatoes and piccalilli all winter. But for the past 30 years I’ve lived in Alaska where there are just never enough tomatoes. Mostly. Saved for salads and BLTs now.

  176. When we pick our first ripe fresh heirloom tomato we always have BLT’s on pumpernickle bread. Something we look forward to every summer.

  177. My favorite memory is the first time I saw (then ate) heirloom tomatoes. The farmers at my local market always do a beautiful presentation

  178. My favorite memory of tomatoes is being in my grandmothers garden and picking them off of the vine, along with squash, corn, green beans, etc. After picking everything we would go inside and prepare it for canning and for meals the rest of the week. I would always be eating the tomatoes while we stringed the beans and shucked the corn….great memories….

  179. I remember as a small child helping my mom pick tomatoes from the garden, as I got older I was able to help during the canning process. Now that I am recently married, I have been able to have my own garden and do my own canning of tomatoes. I cannot wait to teach my kids how to can, just like my mom!

  180. We had a concrete drive way with a big crack in it. A cherry tomato plant started growing up from the dirt in that crack. It got to b huge. The tomatoes were delicious and it produced for months, like a wonderful gift.

  181. I used to love seeing my PopPop climb out of his pick up with a lumpy grocery bag full of tomatoes he’d grown in his garden. We would eat them out of hand like apples or sliced as a side to summer meals. They were so much tastier than the grocery store ones and he was always so happy to share πŸ™‚

  182. I love remembering picking wild blueberries with my big brother in the Poconos and seeing black bears! It was thrilling!

  183. I love planting the seed in the dead of winter with my kids, watching them get so excited to put the plants in the ground, and then its a couple of months of discussion on who gets to eat the first cherry tomato – love it.

  184. Watching the tomato plants go from just a little thing to huge plants is a miracle. Add to that all the tomatoes that grow and ripen – WOW! I will can many things this year – sauce, soup, juice, diced, etc. and I am sure there will be plenty to share with some friends.

  185. I just started canning this year. What started me was I was at an estate sale and the house had a pantry jam packed with canned goods. The sense of accomplishment this woman must of felt! But her jars of tomato sauce grabbed me. There had to of been 50 jars! I thought who could eat this much tomato sauce. Then I got to thinking. I use a jar a week at LEAST for my family and daycare. I eat this much tomato sauce! So now I want to give this one a try. Thanks for offering this gift!

  186. I have memories of each and every year…going out and picking cherry tomatoes off the plant and eating them all right there. I have to do this fast, because I’m competing with my dogs! They love eating tomatoes, strawberries, blackberries, and figs. They’ve learned from their momma to pluck them gently from the bush and enjoy!

  187. I have never liked raw tomatoes. Something about the texture and the seeds. When I was little, I didn’t realize that catsup, pizza sauce, and pasta sauce were made from tomatoes. I would tell people I didn’t like tomatoes, all while happily dipping my my fries in catsup! It still amazes me that raw tomatoes can turn in something so wonderful when cooked.

  188. From reading your blog it turns out I might have accidentally tried to kill my husband by using a tomato sauce recipe that was delicious, but that I didn’t check to see was safe to can. We both survived though!

  189. One of my favorite tomato memories is watching my mom can tomatoes when I was younger. So happy my son loves tomatoes like I do. Between 4 bite size tomato plants, he picks and eats about a pint a day!

  190. A strong tomato memory for me is the first time I did a CSA farm visit/open house and they put out a tray of sliced tomatoes with mozzarella, covered with a bit of olive oil, sea salt, and basil. I remember thinking that it seemed really simple but then tried it and obviously it was amazing. Last year I went on a trip to Milan and thought I’d eat lots of gelato while there, but instead I mostly ate my weight in fresh tomatoes and mozzarella.

  191. Plucking the first cherry tomato off the vine and eating it right there. That’s my favorite tomato memory. Plus it happens every year!

  192. This is the first year that I’ve actually had a yard (or a balcony for that matter), so we have been experimenting with a few small plants before we go to a full-scale garden (we’re gardening newbies!). One of the things that we tried this year was 2 tomatoes plants – a beefsteak and a cherry tomato. I love being able to always have fresh ones in my house! The only problem? Apparently my puppy likes them too. If we dont watch her, she’ll grab them right off the vine!

  193. As a kid my brother and I used to love to eat cherry tomatoes and see who squirted the seeds farthest. That’s how I learned to cut them in half when adding to a salad! These days I happily eat all sizes and varieties in season and refuse to buy those styrofoam imposters they sell in winter. Thank goodness for canning!

  194. My Mom would put up everything from our large garden that could be frozen or canned. One year she read that you could freeze fresh, wedged tomatoes to use in salads, so decided to try it. She froze them on a cookie sheet and moved them to a freezing container, they looked beautiful! She made a salad before supper and placed the frozen tomatoes in it, other than the frost crystals they looked like fresh. We all were anxious to try them, but by the time we served supper they had melted (read that deflated)! The next try was to serve the salad while they were still tomato ice cubes, which did add a bit of crunch, but they were unpleasantly cold with little flavor. The rest wound up in soups and sauces. The only failure of Mom’s kitchen experiments I can recall!

  195. I love tomatoes! Although I hated them as a child and the one thing that seems to be causing bodily upset during pregnancy is tomatoes πŸ™ I’m looking forward to being able to eat them again without issue after baby arrives!

  196. My hubby and I make a lot of chili in the winter so this year we decided to can homegrown tomatoes to use in it. We may have overestimated because we have tomatoes out our ears, we just can’t seem to can them fast enough! I can’t wait to use them in our winter chili though!

  197. I remember my mom having a small tomato garden when I was younger and being so excited for me to eat the first cherry tomato it produced. I think she wasn’t as excited when I gagged and spit it out immediately. I love all things tomato now, except raw ones!

  198. I have 2 favorite tomato memories;

    1. When I was a kid we would grow tomatoes in our garden, once when there were tornado drills going on my dad and I threw tomatoes at each other. Took me forever to realize that tomatoes have nothing to do with tornadoes.

    2. I have my first garden this year, we ate our first tomato hot off the vine on Saturday. Yum!

  199. I’ve eaten homegrown tomatoes all my life, but had a real revelation when I tasted them roasted until browned with a bit of onion, garlic and EVOO. Now I see why it’s called tomato candy.

  200. I would Love to win this basket full of goodies. This year I started all my tomatos from seed. Unfortunately we have lost them all due to so much rain here. We do however have a farmers market where I will be able to purchase some.

  201. Last year was my first year canning, and the tomato things weren’t a huge success. Still proud of what I did, just the recipes didn’t result in my favorite flavors. Hoping to get some better batches this year.

  202. My first tomato memory was when I was 6 years old and visiting my grandparents farm in Virginia. My cousin and I sneaked into the garden and grandpa caught us eating the big juicy tomatoes!! He laughed so hard – we had tomato juice and seeds running down our chins and all over the front of our clothes. To this day I swear those were THE best tomatoes that I ever tasted!! πŸ™‚

  203. My favorite tomato memory is bringing some homegrown tomatoes on the plane from Ohio from my aunt & uncle’s garden. I was stopped by TSA because they couldn’t figure out what was in my carry on luggage. I had decided that I would stop right there and eat them all rather than watching those precious tomatoes get tossed. Fortunately, they let me through. I am sure they had a laugh at my expense, though. πŸ™‚

  204. My dad picking a tomato from the garden and them making me a tomato sandwich. For some reason they were better when he made them!

  205. Picking them right out of the garden and mixing them with chives out of the garden and cottege cheese. A favorite childhood snack!

  206. Growing my very first one! We had a neighbor who gardened and when I was 10 or so, she started having me help her. The pride I felt when I tasted a tomato that I had grown, taught me the greatest lesson in my life! πŸ™‚

  207. Opening jars of canned tomatoes, salsa and pizza sauce in the middle of winter sends the senses back to the middle of summer.

  208. I love picking the first tomato of the season from my plants every year! Fond memories of doing with this with my mom as well.

  209. My mom is in her 70’s and last year we canned stewed tomatoes together. This is a dear memory for me and I cherish it as I use up my last jars. We are scheduled to can more this weekend.

  210. I had a friend in middle school who ate tomatoes like apples. (The February grocery-store variety, mind you…) We became acquainted at the lunch table one day when I saw her doing this and was visibly grossed out. Years later, I enjoy nothing more than a fresh tomato right out of the garden, but I’d still never join her in munching winter tomatoes. : P

  211. My dad taught us to eat a fresh tomato out of the garden with a sprinkling of sugar, the same way his dad taught him!

  212. My grandma used to grow huge tomatoes every year in her garden. We would sit on her back porch with a salt shaker and eat them off the vine.

  213. My grandpa always had the biggest tomato plants on the block. He would plant them in his front yard so the whole block would be jealous. I miss him. =(

  214. I remember watching my Mom canning tomatoes when I was a little girl. I will have an abundance of tomatoes this year from my garden I would like to try canning.

  215. When I was maybe five years old, I remember staying overnight at my Grandma’s house and ‘helping’ her can tomatoes. I distinctly remember watching her drop the tomatoes in a pot of water to loosen the skins, then cut them up with a paring knife and drop them in a big kettle to be mashed up. Grandma would make goulash all winter with her jars of tomatoes. Goulash consisted of stewed tomatoes, ground beef and elbow macaroni- sounds terrible, but at Grandma’s house it was the best thing in the world, usually served with buttered slices of bread and pickles.

  216. Tomato sandwiches! When I was younger they were on spongy white bread with plenty of mayo and nothing else. Now, I prefer a sturdier white bread toasted, with a moderate amount of mayo, and salt and pepper sprinkled on.

  217. Learning to make sauce with my Dad. He makes the best sauce and spend an entire day lovingly teaching me how to make it. I’ve followed the recipe to a T many times since then and it never quite tastes as good as his, I think he just needs to be here with me whenever I make it πŸ™‚

  218. Decades ago, my mom taught me how to make “Tomato Hot” relish that was her best friend’s family recipe. Fresh tomatoes, cabbage, spices, vinegar and sugar cook together to make this special treat that is great on peas, hot dogs, sandwiches, etc. I never make this that I don’t remember these special ladies in my life.

  219. My favorite tomato memory is — traveling from VA to Myrtle Beach every summer and stopping at local fruit stands on our way in and getting fresh tomatoes. Everyday my grandmother and I would eat tomato sandwiches for lunch while taking a break from the beach. We actually even continued that tradition this year when we took our vacation there! Mmmm. Nothing like FRESH and LOCAL tomatoes!

  220. Fresh tomato sandwich made with the summer’s big boy tomatoes. Yum! Waiting on mine to ripen on the vine now. I’m new to the NW and this is my first year with a veggie garden in this region.

  221. Sitting down with the very first tomato out of the garden last year and just cutting it with a knife and fork for lunch. Nothing else, just that giant beefsteak with a little dab of mustard on each bite.

  222. My favorite memory is made every year-watching the tiny tomato seeds sprout, planting and watching the vines grow, the tiny yellow flowers that promise fruit for your labor, the ever so tiny green tomato growing and eventually turning a wonderful shade of red and the anticipation of home-grown flavor, working to preserve it for the winter months to nourish your family.

  223. My favorite memory is eating tomatoes straight from the vine in my paternal Grandmother’s garden (in Michigan) as a young girl.

  224. My grandmother made New Jersey sandwiches – tomato mayo cheese and bread. Canning though is my great grandmother’s chili sauce

  225. the farm stand my parents go to, Pop’s, has all kinds of tomatoes, but our favorite by far is their brown one. its a cherry tomato and its red and green and brown. I know it has a real name, but I don’t know what it is. my daughter looks forward to those tomatoes all year long.

  226. I remember my parent’s garden with their ambitious tomato plants…..and the multitude of tomatoes (green, red and stages in between) sitting on the kitchen counter! I ate more dinners of eggs and tomatoes than I care to remember that summer!

  227. Not my favorite, just my most vivid… the moment I realized I was allergic to raw tomatoes. Grape, on the vine, roma… doesn’t really matter. =(

    It’s actually more of an intollerance, but certainly enough to be a problem. Next… the moment I decided I like them too much to give them up completely. Allergic reaction or not. =)

  228. I remember my mom making huge batches of pasta sauce when all the tomatoes came in. It simmered all day and smelled so good!

  229. We had 5 khaki Campbell ducks who loved to steal tomatoes last summer. All you would see was a shaking Bush then a duck running away with a tomato in his mouth followed by 4 other ducks. It was hilarious. Needless to say we put up better fence!

    • Last year we took the tomato canning class with Marisa in the Perkasie area. I forget the details but we had great fun canning more than 125 pounds of tomatoes outside. It was a group project and we all walked away with several jars. So good and so fun. I would love to do it again but with my neighbors in my kitchen and back yard.

  230. the first summer I grew heirloom tomatoes. I fell in love with the different colors and tastes and shapes. Now they are all I grow,

  231. Last year I was excited to plant 6 nice Roma tomato plants. I looked forward to a nice yield in order to can my kids favorite spaghetti sauce. They could enjoy a little jar of love while going to college. When the tomatoes started blooming, I had everything but Roma’s! My guess is that someone changed all of the tags!! We laughed and have a fun memory.

  232. This is my first real year at gardening and I’m loving it especially the tomatoes. I’m loving all the different kinds of tomatoes I’m growing! I eat more while working in the garden then I bring back into the house though πŸ˜‰

  233. We are loving our tomatoes this year. Drought and deer took last years so this year we were better prepared! Picked a bushel of Romas yesterday. Salsa and ketchup this weekend—yum

  234. The first time I grew cherry tomatoes I served them in a salad. I thought they were beautiful. A dinner guest asked why they were so small.

  235. What was it…. the 90’s? The first time I discovered heirloom tomatoes. When they were such an unheard of treasure and a really special treat.

  236. Would love to win this. My family and I have 54 (yes 54) roma tomato plants just begging to be made into all of these. Thanks!

  237. So exciting! I remember growing up our dining room floor was covered in newspaper and then covered in tomatoes awaiting processing this time of year, especially that fresh smell of tomatoes. I hope to create the same memories for my daughter!

  238. my wonderful memories of tomatoes come from picking a great ripe tomato, chopping it roughly and tossing it with freshly cooked linguine, a touch of olive oil and fresh rough chopped basil!

  239. I remember my dad going down to the basement and coming up with one of my mom’s quart jars of tomato juice. He would then pour himself a big glass and drink it straight! I couldn’t think of anything worse as a kid!

  240. My mom and I just started canning last summer. We love the salsa mix from Mrs. Wages and would love to try the other varieties.

  241. A memory that comes to mind and it’s even mine but makes me laugh. When my husband was still a bachelor he lived in a trailer in a small Maine town. He grew tomatoes on his stoop, and he had a tomato thief when they were still green. He figured out it wasn’t the local wildlife but a neighbor. He still holds a grudge against her and when ever we see her in town he says ‘That’s the lady that stole my tomatoes’, it gets me every time πŸ™‚

  242. I remember the year we were overloaded with cherry tomatoes. I canned them up in quart jars (didn’t even skin them). Every time I dumped a jar of canned cherry tomatoes in a soup, stew, or chili, I remembered that bumper crop.

  243. The tomatoes are amazing this year. I just harvested tomatoes from my garden and sliced them on a platter with basil and red onion. Then drizzled with olive oil & balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper and brought it to work for all my coworkers to enjoy fresh, homegrown goodness! They were extremely grateful!

  244. my favorite memory is when my daughter and I made our first batch of tomato sauce…. the first time we washed, peeled and filled our first jars. πŸ™‚ and that was about a month ago. πŸ™‚

  245. Oh, there’s so much to do with those cherry tomatoes! I like them in aloo ghobi, I use them for a wonderful bolognese sauce with sherry in it. Green beans with shallots and popped cherry tomatoes pan cooked in a skillet. They are great cooked into lots of things. Yum!

  246. This is going to sound very odd. I went through a long stretch–college then a several years after–when I forgot how much I like tomatoes. How do you forget that you like tomatoes? You only have grocery store tomatoes available to you. Then one summer while I was home visiting my family my grandfather left a huge bag of goodies from his garden for me to take home. When I got back home I stopped at the grocery store to buy fresh mozzarella to have with the tomatoes. I sat and ate the entire, very large, garden tomato. I was so stuffed!!

  247. Eating the very first tomato I grew in my garden. I’d never done any gardening before, so it was a big deal for me. And boy did it taste good!

  248. This summer my kids and I planted a garden. It was such a rush to see the tomatos come in and be able to run out to the garden for a snack or recipe ingrediants. We can’t wait to do it again next summer.

  249. I love taking my daughter to our local fruit stand and watching her with excitement choose which color of cherry tomatoes she wants that day.

  250. My favorite tomato memory is picking cherry tomatoes from our garden with my 2 year old daughter. She would eat them as fast as I could pick them! We are getting tons of Romas right now and these mixes would be the perfect way to use them up.

  251. I remember picking cherry tomatoes out of my grandmas huge garden and getting trouble for eating most of them before I came back. And the yummy tomato, mayo, and black pepper sandwich! This year, our tomatoes are doing very well!

  252. One year, I grew a large vegetable garden with several varieties of tomatoes.
    A new friend was at my house for dinner. He had previously told me that he didn’t like tomatoes.
    Since I knew he didn’t like tomatoes, I prepared a small plate of the classic dish for myself- sliced tomatoes with fresh mozzarella, basil, extra-virgin olive oil, fresh ground pepper & salt.
    I put it on the table and went back into the kitchen to finish the other appetizer and entrΓ©e.
    When I came back a few minutes later, I found that he had eaten almost all of the tomatoes & mozzarella… I said “I thought you didn’t like tomatoes!”
    His reply, “I don’t think I’ve ever had a real tomato before…”

  253. Tomatoes are a taste of summer and Mom’s garden. My favorite childhood memory is eating still-sun-warm pear or cherry tomatoes from the vine…heaven! As an adult, a tasty, sweet, lemony-basil tomato jam (fabulous with cream cheese and crackers) has been my specialty at holiday gifting time!

  254. My favorite tomato memory is watching my mother in law and her mother making homemade ketchup, and making stewed tomatoes years ago…. Yummy!!

  255. When we canned our first tomatoes years ago, we would go to bed and listen for that popping sound that lets you know the jar has sealed. It was exciting to hear it then just like it is now almost forty years later!

  256. Favorite tomato memory is leaning over the sink with my mom, eating tomatoes like they were apples, with the juice running down our chins!

  257. My favorite memory is all the fresh tomato slices we used to have on the dinner table every night during summer (at least it seemed like every night). Love those fresh tomato slices with just a bit of salt & pepper !!

  258. Last year was the first year I had grown tomatoes in a dozen years. It was also the first summer Wisconsin had seen such hot dry weather in a century. Staying up on my garden, I watered diligently; except at night when I thought the plants could get the best recovery from the watering. You guessed it: Blossom end rot. By the time the plants recovered, I was setting up tables of green tomatoes in my garage to ripen at least something. Epic fail to say the least. This year has presented it’s own unique challenges, but at least I know what I want to plant next year and only to water in the morning!

  259. It seems to be the same one every year….the first taste of my homegrown tomatoes. After putting up with those store bought red blobs of absolutely no flavor I pretty much melt when I taste homegrown ones.

  260. I am in a new house and anxiously awaiting tomatoes to explode here so I can can and freeze and store. I have just learned how to make fresh motz so I have been using tomatoes for that with some basil and today I made the BEST sauce in my crockpot with fresh tomatoes, green peppers, garlic scapes, and onion. OOH I hope I win.

  261. I am new to tomato canning this year. We had an amazing amount of tomatoes and I have had fun canning them. Can’t wait to make chili and spaghetti this winter :0) I haven’t tried the mixes you are offering in the giveaway but I have looked at them at the store.

  262. Favorite tomato memory has to be my kids coming in with handfuls or bowlfuls of cherry tomatoes. Best tomato Taste memory has to be roasting a bunch of heirlooms…so rich in taste and in color!

  263. I made tomato jam for the first time last year and it was a hit with everyone. My grandmother said it was one of the favorites and she had not been able to find it anywhere. Now I will be making it every year!

  264. Favorite tomato memory is making home made manwich!!! Sloppy joes are a yummy thing in my house and my first batch was a huge success last year.. can not wait for my tomatos to come in!!! still all green

  265. I remember my grandpa going out to the tomato patch with a salt shaker in his pocket. I remember my mom with a huge roasting pan of tomatoes so big it covered two burners of our basement stove. I remember helping my sister carry 5 gallon buckets of tomatoes downstairs, because the basement was the only place to can during the summer when we didn’t have air conditioning! I remember when my mom started to get tired Of canning, and gave me her pressure canner- the very same canner she put up tomatoes with the day I was born. I’m carrying this tradition on- so someday my daughters can say “I remember…”

  266. My favorite memory is canning tomatoes, green beans and peaches as a child with my grandma. I also canned with her when I had my own family. She started my love of canning.

  267. My favorite tomato memory was the first time I made tomato jam out of cherry tomatoes. It’s a new tradition at our house. So good on white hots.

  268. Am I too late? 12:27 a.m. 8/18… at work on the east coast for a computer system software upgrade.

    My tomato memories revolve around my family’s garden when I was a kid, in the 60’s and 70’s… my parents would start tomato plants inside and we’d have at least 6 dozen plants in the garden, then come the end of August and into September would come canning season… quart after quart to then store in the cellar (almost a root cellar, our house was an old country farm house) for tomatoes for my dad’s lunch box for work, chili, topping on meatloaf, etc. It was always a family affair.

  269. My dad used to eat tomato slices with salt. I remember asking him if I could have one, biting into it, and spitting it back out because of the salt! πŸ™‚ For awhile there, I thought I didn’t like tomatoes. Silly kids!

  270. I will add another comment because the first time I looked at this giveaway, the comments were all talking about berries, which got me confused that I somehow got sideways here. My favorite tomato item to can is the tomato jam recipe from your book. It has so many uses and we love it. We use it on top of meatloaf, on sandwiches (great in a grilled cheese), instead of ketchup, as a cocktail sauce, on toast and to add a little flavor to other sauces at times. It’s wonderful.

  271. The first thing I canned was tomatoes. My grandmother told me a wonderful story. She owned a little country restaurant called the Scandia. She and her best friend and waitress Pat canned up about 50 quarts of tomatoes and put them in the lean to next to the restaurant. Much later in the summer on a really hot day the customers and the “girls” heard shots ring out- over and over. Everyone hit the deck, then wondered what it was. Well, Grandma and Pat approached the lean to (with some men of course)- what do you suppose they found?

  272. My grandpa used to grow tomatoes and as a child I used to watch him in the garden and would love to eat with him he was the most awesome man I have known and sure do miss him

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