Monday, August 4, 2008

forgive us our past tomatoes

I write about tomatoes because I love them. But several people have asked me to write about other foods because they hate tomatoes. I can only assume they have had a bad tomato somewhere in their past and can’t get over that mealy, squishy, no taste red thing they consumed. I feel so bad that their first tomato experience may have been their last because of a bad tomato.

I don’t know if it was a hothouse tomato, or “on-the-vine” tomatoes from the grocery store, or even a canned tomato their mother made them eat because fresh tomatoes were not in season, or she didn’t know how to prepare them. Either way, today’s tomato is nothing like that. Especially now. This is the prime growing/eating season for tomatoes. They are at their peak of freshness. They are juicy, sweet, colorful and have great texture. No gases were used to turn these fruits red (as is the case of store bought tomatoes). Sunshine, water, bumble bees and tomato food have made these babies ready for picking and eating. Grab one, you will no be disappointed.

I’m hoping everyone that has a bad tomato memory will vow to try one bite of a summer fresh tomato and see for themselves that the tomato has come a long way baby! Please make it a great bite. Ask a friend who loves tomatoes to fix a bite for you. Whether it’s in the form of a sandwich, flatbread, pizza, sauce or a little salt and pepper, try a tomato now!

No, I do not work for the tomato growers of America. I just love this fruit/vegetable and wish the season would last longer. My plants are loaded now, but I know it’s only a fleeting moment until they are empty and brittle branches blowing in the wind. This year I have decided to make the season last a little longer. I just ordered fall tomatoes.

These plants go in the ground the second week of August and take about 45-55 days to produce. These fall heirlooms are a little hardier and will last until the first frost. Once again, a little prayer for a late, late Alabama frost. It could be as late as mid-November. I will keep my fingers crossed. And if that works out to be the case, then I will only have to wait about 5 months for great fresh tomatoes again!

I will buy tomatoes in the winter but I’m very picky. I will oven-roast a bunch of tomatoes now and freeze them so I’ll have tomatoes all winter long. Of course, it won’t be the same as eating a freshly picked tomato, but you must make concessions. It’s better than the alternative.

1 comment:

carmencooks said...

I'm the same way - don't really buy tomatoes in the winter and fill up on them in the summer! Tomatoes and blueberries are my favorite parts of summer!