Friday, September 17, 2010

'Mater Matters

It took until the end of August and into September for the tomatoes to really start to ripen well this year. But ripen they finally did, I am here to report.

'maters and the purple beans. Grew these beans from seed my neighbor Ren saved. She didn't get many purple beans, but got the purple speckled "neighbor beans" from seed I saved. So we both had neighbor beans.

I was picking a basket this size about every four days for the three weeks before I left CA.

Real slicin' 'maters - big red "Mortgage Lifters", yellow "Purple Smudge" and little but tasty "Black Brandywine". The salsa was great for breakfast with local eggs, avocado and corn tortillas.

Fabulous just to look at in the afternoon kitchen light.

I ate as many as I could, gave some away (that double-sized "Big Yellow Oxheart" in the top picture went to my son and daughter in law in San Francisco, where the garden tomatoes didn't quite make it this year), and made several batches of baked tomato sauce. Couldn't be easier: olive oil the 9/12 glass dish, cut tomatoes in quarters, put in dish with several un-peeled cloves of garlic, bake at 350 for 1/2 hour and then leave in the warm oven overnight. Presto: tomato sauce to freeze. (I squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins into the sauce after it is done and take out some of the tomato skins.)

They were still comin on pretty strong, so I had to pack these up in a big plastic container and bring them with me in my carry on when I flew over to France. I haven't found this variety of heirloom tomatoes in our fabulous Saturday market in Revel, at least thus far. Can't wait to buy eggs from the sweet farm wives, olives out of a big half barrel, walnut bread with levain nature and local goat cheese and yogurt au marché le matin.

More soon from Soreze.


Ellen said...

Your tomatoes looked lovely and delicious! I grew tomatoes for the first time and our Northern CA weather certainly didn't help for ripening. I think next year I will be growing them earlier, starting from seed indoors and finding some heirloom varieties. How many did you plant?

Mel said...

Your tomatoes are things of beauty. I am thankful for the new recipe to process the last of my roma tomatoes, onions and garlic. It looks so easy and sounds delicious. Isn't it interesting how our gardens vary from year to year? I could not grow a squash in Illinois for love nor money this year, but the tomatoes have been very happy. I grew a few plants from seeds saved from last year's best tomatoes, and they are just beginning to ripen for a late but welcome harvest.

Anonymous said...

Wow what a bounty! Ours didn't do well at all- I garden with Cindy. Glad to see some new posts and looking forward to the ones from France. Gabby is getting big and we are awaiting the arrival.

swallowtail said...

Mmmmmmm. Beautiful photos. I especially love the one of the toms on the kitchen table. And I may have gone "off my program" just reading the description of the upcoming market trip. Aarrrgggh.

Anonymous said...

All those beautiful tomatoes...glad you had a rich harvest before you left your garden. My food program for tomorrow will have some changes to make space for a love apple. Merci!

Ms. Moon said...

I am so envious on so many levels.
Thank-you for bringing us along on your journeys, both here and abroad. Thank-you.

N2 said...

Thanks for stoppin by, Ladies All!
@Ellen: I had 32 tomato plants this year. I know!! That's because my friend LC started them in her neighbor's green house from my seeds. I felt like I had to make space to put them in.
@Mel: The tomatoes are blushing, thanks for the compliment. How did the sauce work out for you? It might have taken more oven time. My gas oven has quite a high pilot.
@Sue: Sorry to hear about the maters, but glad the mother is progressing nicely =o)))
@LC: Thanks to your good starting skills on them maters!
@Gail: Glad to share the bounty with you and happy that it was something "allowed".
@Ms Moon: Happy to share in your life as well and envious of your time with that cherub O-boy!!


Elizabeth said...

I thought I'd clicked onto the Whole Foods website! Your tomatoes are outrageous!

Fickle Cattle said...

First time I've ever seen yellow tomatoes. So cute. :-)

I am Fickle Cattle.

N2 said...

@Elizabeth: I am laughing but proud. Thanks!

@Fickle Cattle: Welcome. Oh yes, we have many varieties of yellow and orange and maroon and...well, many strange but wonderful tomatoes in California.

x0 N2

Kori said...

Oh, those are gorgeous; makes my mouth water, especially since I am about to leave work for lunch. We had horrible tomatoes here this year, so I am especially jealous. :)

N2 said...

@Kori: Hello Dear! Nice to see you here, especially when you are no doubt busy with that new Grand Baby. Congratulations! x0 N2

Lisa Page Rosenberg said...

That photo of the tomatoes on the table with the pitcher... the light... just beautiful.

N2 said...

@ Lisa: Thanks. Always good to have you stop by and you must be extra busy now that you are "Blogger of Note". So good to see you there. Love your work, Babe. Seriously. x0 N2

Bethany said...

Oh yum! Glorious. Lovely photos. The colors and shapes are so beautiful. Thanks for the sauce recipe. I needed something easy like that. Sorry I've been mia.

N2 said...

B: Hey! Just paging down to something else and I saw that you had been by. Been missing you. Glad to see your smiling face! x0 N2

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