Tomato challenge final tally

Halloween is perfect time to reveal the final results of the Fred/Dixie Tomato Throw Down.

It’s shocking, horrifying and unbelievable!

It has left me in a maze I can’t get out of. My husband Fred’s evil boisterous smile is frightening.

So let’s get it over with, then I can talk my favorite time of year: Halloween.

I picked the first and last tomatoes of season since Fred’s got frozen out — mine are still producing. I also had largest tomato at 1 pound, 5 3/8 ounces. OK, OK, so I had all over smaller fruit and fewer by hundreds.

There, I said it!

“King Fred” harvested hundreds and hundreds of ripe, red and yellow, delicious, large and picture perfect tomatoes. When he pulled out his dying, frozen plants, he stopped saving the fruit, which at six buckets of green tomatoes and two buckets ripe should take us into December.

Can I endure more weeks of bragging?

Here are some lessons learned:

Tomatoes planted on west side of the house and shaded by the house, a motor home and fence and my bushy vines probably didn’t help growth and production (my excuse).

If overdosing plants with fish emulsion doesn’t completely kill them, they’ll come back with a vengeance to produce like crazy when mixed with other magic potions, as Fred learned. Plants having full southern exposure certainly helped. Am I whining?

Read instructions for the Open Class at the Mesa County Fair.

How much bragging can a person take? Fred wants to switch locations to prove location doesn’t matter. My tomato lawyer is looking into a mental distress suit.

Really, thanks to my readers for joining in all the fun.

I think we all could use a laugh or two this year even if it is at MY expense.

After reading Annie Payne’s Halloween column last Saturday on the Home & Garden pages, I know she is my soul sister.

When August hits, I think Halloween. When Sept. 1 hits, I’m getting out my favorite indoor decorations, waiting until mid-September for outside decorations.

I love creating food ideas for Halloween eating and decorating.

Every year my Halloween party includes a “Finger Food Tray.”

Here are some finger food ideas:

Bread stick fingers — Either bake or buy already made. Cut in half. Stick uncolored end of slivered almonds into rounded bread stick end so colored claws stick out.

String cheese stick fingers — Use cheese sticks or make your own. Make a little groove into the rounded end and using a dab of cream cheese adhere a sliced colored almond for fingernail.

Baby carrot fingers — Place a dab cream cheese and slivered almond on the top of the slender end of baby carrots.

Chicken sticks — Roll sliced chicken breast in crumbs, bake and add “fingernails.”

Fingers can be made out of pickles, cocktail Franks, halved dogs, pretzel rod fingers, popcorn ball fingers, meatloaf, Jell-O.

Rice Krispies mixture fingers — Make with Cocoa Krispies with candy corn fingers.

Other ideas:

Pumpernickel bread sandwiched with pumpkin/ghosts orange cheese cutouts on top.

Eyeballs made of grapes covered with colored cream cheese and cut slices for eyes.

Ice cubes with gummy worms inside. Leave the “head” sticking out.

Plastic Glove Hands filled with beans with candy corn for fingers. Tie ends and drape over your shoulder or a pumpkin.

Rice Krispies mixture formed into witches hat, cats, ghosts or pumpkins.

Floats with blue ice cream balls in orange juice with licorice twister.


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