Friday, July 18, 2008

Personal Chef is The Tomato Queen

A Blog A Day For A Month: Day 18. Only 13 more days to go.

Have I ever talked about my tomatoes?

Every year, I swear I'm not going to grow tomatoes again. It's too much work. I don't have time to water. I can get great tomatoes from the farmer's market. Yada, yada, yada.

And, yet, every year I eagerly await May 1 so I can scour the nursery for the exact plants I want. I'm very particular (I bet you didn't know that about me!!) about my tomato plants.

They must be Beefsteak plants. The plants must be a least 8" tall. They must be organic. On and on and on. For the first few years, the folks at the nursery would run and hide every time I came in. It must have been my sparkling personality....

For the last few years, whenever I walk into the nursery they go into the back and pull out a full flat of Beefsteak tomato plants for me to look through, pick over and ask about. Guess they remembered me from year to year.

Last year I planted the tomatoes in my front yard. Yeah, I know that sounds strange. And it is. But with the number of trees around us it was the best place for them. And my tomato plants were the talk of the neighborhood. They were over 7' tall! Taller than sweet husband Tim. They looked like trees. Needless to say it was a great Beefsteak tomato year. And it was a mild fall and I had fresh tomatoes well into the middle of November.

So, again this year I got the tomato bug in April. We had a really cold spring and my plants didn't go in until Memorial Day weekend. And this year I moved the plants into the back yard. I'd had a lot of trees cut down in the back so there is full sun from noon until the sun sets.

And I'm pleased to brag that my tomato plants have gone absolutely nuts this year. Even in new soil that hasn't been composted and mulched for several years ~ and with a very cold, wet spring ~ and with my not taking very good care of them. Right now, the plants are as tall as me and they are LOADED with tomatoes with some already larger than my fist.

I'll ask now. Send tomato recipes. Lots and lots of recipes.

Every year I freeze tomatoes, I make gallons of spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce and ketchup. But you can never have too many tomato recipes.

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