Tuesday, November 29, 2011

FAREWELL, SWEET JULIET!

Well, I guess that's it for my tomato season.
There's been a good coating of frost on my little truck the last two mornings, so I'm sure I'll have lots of pruning and yanking to do as soon as it's warm enough to get back out in the garden.

My favorite tomato plant for this area is turning out to be a little paste variety called 'Juliet'.  What a prolific workhorse she has been, both this year and last.  Last spring's plant produced an abundant supply of roma-sized fruit until it just got too hot for the blooms to set.  This year's plant got thwarted by triple-digit temps before it had a chance to do anything at all, but then took off just when I was about to give up and pull it out.  Her first tomatoes were really small, more like a grape tomato than a roma, but the concentrated flavor made them quite tasty when I marinated them in vinegar and oil, then served them as a salad.

Juliet was covered in dozens of green tomatoes when our first brief dips below freezing were predicted, so I went out each evening and snuggled her in with a wrap of frost cloth.  Those tomatoes I picked last week were larger,  but not near as big as last year's.  I roasted them in olive oil, thyme and sea salt, with a dash of sugar, packed them into a jar covered in their roasting oil, and kept them chilled until it was time to serve them drizzled over goat-cheese-smeared crostini at our Thanksgiving feast.

Yesterday I roasted another batch and, as soon as they were cool enough to handle, I slipped their skins off, tossed them into a pasta bowl along with some minced garlic, chopped fresh herbs, and some of their roasting oil, added some hot pasta and just a splash of the pasta water, then topped everything with a healthy grating of Parmigiano.  It was a very good dinner!
I still have a colander full of ripe ones, plus all those I picked when I heard that we were due for a hard frost a couple of nights in a row. I took any that even had a blush of color on them, but left behind quite a few more that were still completely green.  Now, if only I knew what to do with the rest!
Is it weird that I went a wee bit color-mad, when I realized my tomato harvest echoed all of the colors in my wonderful Bakelite bouquet?  Ahhh, Juliet!  Parting is such sweet sorrow.

1 comment:

Hill Country Hippie (aka Miss Becky) said...

Via Facebook:
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Priscilla Lane Fresh salsa and/or bruschetta topping (I can send you my recipes!)
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Becky Thomas Lane Send away!