Tag Archives: tomato

It’s October 13th: Do You Know Where Your Home-Grown Tomatoes Are?

Did I make myself a BLT on toasted Italian with real mayo, salt and pepper, a little lettuce, some extra-crispy bacon and thick slabs of heirloom tomatoes from my own garden this morning for breakfast?  Why, yes.  Yes, I did.

blt october 13, 13

If bacon is going to kill me,  I intend to eat enough to die very happy.

The nights are way too cold for the fall gardening I had hoped to do.  You just never know.  I think I will “close-up-shop” this week on all but the kale and spinach, the lettuces and Chinese cabbage.  My amazingly loving and energetic husband has been covering the tender green beans, peppers and tomatoes nightly because I just had such a great garden year, he didn’t want it to come to the abrupt end the weather seems to have sent.  He even heat-lamps them at night.  How sweet is that?

The result?  I have piles of tomatoes all over the place.  Because-they are not stupid, you know.  If the end is near, they become extremely prolific, fruiting and leaving their legacy and seed behind.

The fall tomato is still sweet

blt oct 13

The autumn tomato in this zone?  Grows much slower, ripens at a snail’s pace.  The vigor of the August tomato has subsided to a more predictable, steady output.  I am tickled pink when I see new flowers on the plants – they refuse to go quietly and intend, though damaged by cold nights and shortened days and brittled by age, to stay fruitful until the last.

I love them for that.  I shall pattern my own life after the tomato.  Even if I get brittle and hobble and go gray and lose all my teeth – I intend to keep flowering and being fruitful.  :)

And that sandwich was so…what are the words?  You could not buy a tomato that tasty in an 8-state radius, I am certain of it.  It was really ambrosial, scrumptious, and just as delicious as the first fruits – maybe even sweeter.  Just like life…

It’s a Birthday Potluck

a.k.a  A Good Excuse to have Lots of Homegrown Tomato Dishes on display.

Yes, other people are bringing food, as well.  But God willing and I get this right, here is what I am working on:  Tomatoes, of course!

harvest tomatoes

A marinara sauce, a simple tomato marinara from the juiciest, most delicious tomatoes in the world, which just happen to be growing in my backyard this very moment!  There will be lots of garlic and a generous chiffonade of basil from the very same garden.  Just enough Kosher salt to add the perfect kitchen blessing and very nearby, if not in it, some Italian sausage and beef meatballs.  It will be served with both extra thick spaghetti noodles for the kiddos et moi, and some hot, steamy spaghetti squash (also from my garden) for the Whole30s {not me} among us.

Fresh Bruschetta, which is essentially the same as the marinara, truth be told, but served cold, uncooked, all tangy and garlic-y and taste-buds-exploding YUM!  I have recently discovered eating it atop garlic-grilled portabella (also known as portobello, whichever), and that is, dear readers and friends, divine, as well.  Otherwise, some hot, crunchy baguette, brushed with olive oil and toasted, then rubbed with a fresh clove of garlic is a wonderful vehicle of delivery, soaking up the seasoned juice so beautifully as it does.


Red & White Salad – with some green for good measure.  This is an old standby and should be made daily in the summer kitchen.  My dad loves it.  I discovered that if I make my own dressing from really good extra-virgin olive oil and white wine vinegar, it takes it to a whole new level.  It is simply very very red chopped tomatoes, very green and juicy chopped cucumbers, and a whole Sweet Vidalia onion chopped.  Toss in really good Itailan Dressing and it is actually refreshing to eat for breakfast, lunch, after a workout – whenever!

Caprese Salad.  I mean, how can you improve on the traditional Insalata Caprese?  It’s a simple salad, made of sliced fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil, seasoned with salt, and olive oil.  Perfection, really, but Dave brought home these tiny Mozzarella Fresca Perlines (pearl-sized little balls) and they seem like they might get lost on a traditional Caprese plate, so I am going to use them with bow tie pasta, and of course  I’ll drizzle with a sweet, dark balsamic.  That goes without saying, yes?

This is a time of glory for my homemade tomatoes.  I cannot help myself.



Oh, and there will be some delicious fresh-made Basil & Walnut-Pesto to go on the pasta if some one prefers.  And some Garlic-Seafood Scampi, too.  For the birthday boy (Tristan).

I am also working on Tomatilla Salsa and Tomatilla Guacamole today.  But that is an entirely different situation, altogether.  :)


The Year of the Tomato

Ah, yes…

Some years, the zucchini hogs all the glory, just producing and producing and flowering and fruiting out all over the place.  the cuke has had its year and green beans know how to arrive in glory.

tomatoes beefsteak

But I garden mostly for tomatoes and this year is just a really good tomato year.  When I stumbled in to the kitchen for coffee this morning and saw tomatoes in bowls and on trays on every counter and the kitchen table, too, I realized that I must have picked at least 3 dozen tomatoes yesterday – to add to a couple dozen still just sitting around.

That included tomatoes from 4 plants: an heirloom tomato, which, as they are known to be prone, contracted a disease and is dying, but still yielding its’ fruit like crazy (a lesson to be learned); a Sweet-100 cherry tomato plant which is madly fruiting golf-ball-sized tomatoes, an over-achiever to be sure; an Early Girl, which wasn’t particularly early, but which is certainly giving us armfuls of perfectly-globed 6-8 oz. tomatoes; and finally the beefsteak.  I picked almost a dozen of them yesterday and at least 6 of them were almost a pound each.  They hang off a slice of bread – they’re that big.  And that is fun. Dave was helping me show some off  (below) – but then I got more!

tomato beefsteak

I always tell everyone, gushing and exuding true love, “If you can only garden one thing, make it the tomato.”  And the tomato is loving me back this year, delicious on my taste buds and in my tummy!  :)

Savage Beast

You big, fat, self-indulgent, self-loving, arrogant, insolent, pompous, contempuous, grotesque, repungent, foul, revolting, grizzly, thick, greasy-gutless, corpulent, fleshy, pointless, asinine, gruesome, shameless, sleezeball-of-a-terd, gorging, life-sucking, hoover-jaded, pig-pack, slimeball, meaty-monkey pudged, interloping roly-poly, perverted, desacrating, profane piece of crap.

horn worm on tomato

{{G R O S S }} Just stopped an 8-pound* tomato hornworm in my garden, on my cherry tomato plant.  Though I was in an annual war at our last house, I had only found a couple here in 2008 prior to now…*sniff.  My lovely tomato plants have been targeted by the enemy.

I am not even going to attempt to tell you how I really feel.

*8 pounds may or may not have been an exageration.  But it would have been 8 pounds if we hadn’t spotted it and beat it to bits with a shovel – as it bled MY tomato leaves onto the ground.

When I was a Child…

When I was a child, I thought Miracle Whip was the way to go.  But now that I have become a woman, I know Hellman’s Real Mayonnaise is heaven on a sandwich.  Especially a tomato sandwich, with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper.  O yeah, baby.

I also saw things, when I was a child {situations, memories, people, past wounds and relationships}, without understanding and the wisdom of years.  Some things now, I have to ask God to help me see as redeemed and as He saw it, from His vantage point.  Like a grown-up.  And because of love.

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.   1 Corinthians 13.11 NIV

I wasn’t a big tomato fan as a kid, either.  See?  Maturity does help.

It’s a Red-Tomato Day

It has happened:

July 15, 2009, yesterday, there they were: two small, red, Oregon Spring tomatoes.  I was feeding the straw bales and they just appeared.

I wasn’t expecting anything from that tomato plant because it seems to have stayed so small, stocky, but compact.  However, upon re-reading the tag that came with it this morning, I see that it is quite determinate and needs no staking, but produces mature fruit within 60 days (it has been in the straw bale for about 6 weeks, so, of course).  So heads up for you patio gardeners: Oregon Spring= good choice.

tomato-day-7-15-082 tomato-day-7-15-083

But anyway, my point?  I have bacon in the fridge and two lovely tomatoes on my counter.  It is a sign from God that I can go on.

In other tomato news:

 reunion-prep-0671 tomato-day-7-15-0803

The upside-down tomato thing/project/experiment I am trying is going ok, I think.  The plant is definitely growing and seems, actually to be thriving in its’ protected locale.  Pictured above: the night it was first placed and then the two-week picture from last week (today would be three weeks, no picture yet).  I noticed yesterday it has a good little bunch of flowers, aka future tomatoes, on it.  I just have to remember to water it.  Geesh. (That is a Roma and a tomatillo residing below in straw)

Misc. Garden Updates:

Some nasty worms have descended upon and are chowing down on all my petunia buds leaving quite the trail of poo-poo behind, yet I cannot find and destroy them.  Grrrrrr…..And the sugar snaps are keeping me snacking daily for the past two weeks.  Not enough to share yet. ; )

Playing in dirt is good for the soul…Jeanie

NOTE TO SELF:  Check the carrots and discipline the cukes.

The Tomato

How can I communicate the taste, the essence of the tomato?


The tomato, ripened as God intended on the vine, is more complex and flavorful than almost any other.   With the slightest sprinking of salt on a freshly thick-cut slice, the exploding, tingling zest of life is captured on your tongue, the tangy bite melting into a powerful, full taste of the summer season.    The suggestion of  blazing  days of sun and long, warm nights are all contained in the deep red, seeded fruit.    Tart and sweet at the same time, the tomato is the iconic garden fruit, which when ripened, is  the vegetable to which all others must defer.  

Pick maybe just before you actually think it is ripe, maybe the day before you’ll eat it.   Never, ever refrigerate.   Always slice at room temperature for peak intensity, flavor.

Then try to figure out: what on earth does a tomato taste like?   For I – am at a loss for words.

I love the home-grown, organic tomato and believe it should be wholeheartedly celebrated…Jeanie

NOTE:   Oh yes, I have written about the tomato before, here and here and here.

pictured: google image, but one of the best ways to enjoy garden fresh tomatoes.   Slice, top with fresh chunks of mazarella and chopped basil, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and sweet balsamic vinegar.