And now, the moment we've all been waiting for....homegrown tomatoes!
If you've been following the blog for awhile, you'll know that we dedicated quite a lot of our limited space to producing tomatoes. The reasons for this were (at least) twofold: firstly, I developed a dependency last year on something I can only call HTI, or homegrown tomato intoxication, an ecstatic Dionysian state brought on by the untempered consumption of those nectar-filled explosions of sun humbly called tomatoes. And secondly, we were planning a bumper crop of tomatoes with the idea of preserving them whole and peeled, something that you may have noticed figures regularly in our recipes, and as our own homemade pasta sauce.
So we planted several different kinds of tomatoes: cherry tomatoes, Roma/plum, vine, and Black Russian, starting them indoors as seedlings. Pretty much all of them came up, so we ended up with nearly 30 thriving tomato seedlings. Unfortunately during one of the repottings we managed to lose track of which was which, so we ended up with a potluck of which ones we actually planted (giving some away to our neighbor and his daughter, too). Fortunately, however, we ended up with a pretty decent mix, though probably a slightly disproportionate number of cherry tomatoes than would be ideal for our plans. Even though each plant of the larger varieties has a good 4 bunches of ripening tomatoes, it still doesn't seem like a lot. We have been reveling in the prodigious output of deliciously sweet cherry tomatoes, which have contributed quite a few snacks and a couple of light meals, but I honestly don't think we are going to have any spare tomatoes to preserve. I may still be proven wrong, but I think all of our crop is going to go straight to our stomachs!
So far we have only had one bunch of the big tomatoes, leaving the others to continue to ripen, and with the cherry tomatoes we have basically been eating them as-is or with some buffalo mozzarella they are so tasty. This or a shredded beet and carrot (and sometime courgette or Swiss chard stem) salad with a light honey and cider&balsamic vinegar dressing has been frequently gracing our table for a light dinner since we've been back (hence the lack of posted recipes in case you were wondering). It is perfect summer fare, though the weather has turned decidedly un-August and un-summerlike at a cool 13 celsius (55 F) with a constant drizzle to downpour for the past 36 hours (literally, uninterrupted rain). I hope we get some warm weather back so the rest of those tomatoes (and everything else, peppers in particular) can ripen!