Tag Archives: tomatoes

Goodnight, Irene…

So hurricane prep will have me at the store today and packing up some things as Mom and I will be staying with my grandparents– just in case phone lines go out, we want to make sure they’re ok.

I’ll also be taking the advice of the page linked here to “prepare” my garden: Preparing Garden for Hurricane! : Harvest!

Although there’s nothing I can do for those baby Cherry toms.  I only hope that the storm changes direction and passes on through so they’ll be ok (and the rest of us!)

*Oh, and the post title comes from the Leadbelly (Huddie Ledbetter) song.

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Please don’t “eat” my tomatoes, Irene

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So earlier this week, I went outside to pick a few more ripe tomatoes.  We seemed to have wound up with less than I expected, but the results were still delicious.  I’ve decided on trying a few tomato varieties next year.  I’ve actually been a little sad though, that the season is almost over and almost all my harvest had been, well, harvested.  This has showed by the lack of weeding I’ve accomplished lately, as I kind of stopped caring as it seemed impossible that a few small weeds would affect my almost-done plants.

And then, I saw something.  I think I’d mentioned that my cherry tomato plant had grown tall and strong lately, despite the fact that all the blossoms seem to have been clipped off– eaten, I assume, before they could produce fruit.  The picture above is what caught my eye– I have baby cherry toms!!

That said, I also noticed, yesterday, that one of the large branches I thought was the cherry tomato plant– is actually the regular tomato plant.  It’s still looking strong, growing, and flowering.  Might I have more tomatoes coming afterall?

But with this in mind, I’m a little more concerned about Hurricane Irene this weekend….

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Corn, Tomatoes, and Cantaloupe… oh my!

Gardening has sparked my already-growing desire to cook!

The reviews are in on my corn and oven-fried green tomatoes.  Everyone seemed to enjoy everything- yay!  Again, there wasn’t much corn as I only had four plants– but I got to share a little of it and the feedback has been encouraging.  I hope I can find some more room next year to plant more of it.  It was so much fun watching it grow!! And I really do love corn.  Not sure if I’ll bother with the red peppers next year, and the cherry tomatoes are a definite no, but I definitely want more than one tomato plant– they were also fun to grow  🙂

My new love of cantaloupe– or rather, rekindled love of cantaloupe– has come as a result of my successful Food Challenge Test just last week.  I’ve been enjoying a slice or two every morning.  With my wisdom tooth out as of yesterday– I decided to try making a smoothie so I could enjoy the fresh, juicy taste sans chewing.

There’s room for improvement here, but it was fresh and tasty, and a good start!

Ingredients:
2 1/2 slices of cantaloupe, cubed.
1 cup (low-fat) vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup (low-fat/skim) milk
1 1/2 teaspoons dark brown sugar.

Blend until smooth– enjoy!

[I’d suggest trying to blend with another flavor or use more cantaloupe for a more concentrated flavor.  I didn’t want to add more sugar cause I was trying to keep it healthy! Suggestions also welcome!]

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From Garden to Table!

In my last post, I mentioned being stuck in all day.  This meant I spent most of the day singing, online, playing games on my new Smartphone.  (Angry Birds and Bouncy Mouse, with a little Words With Friends for good measure and to make sure the brain cells don’t die altogether… Although I might argue that both the Birds and the Mouse use a lot of math in calculating how you catapult the little guys).  It was a fairly uneventful, and unproductive day.  I was ok with this.

But sometimes, I get crazy ideas.  Like this past Valentine’s Day, when I decided– the night before Valentine’s Day– that I should make heart-shaped sugar cookies for my office, and parents, and grandparents, and my favorite boy.  It might not have been as bad if I’d decided this earlier.  But it was kind of a spur of the moment idea, which had me picking up ingredients, and cookie cutters, that same day.  The baking started after dark and I decorated until it was time to sleep.  (The plastic wrap smeared the writing a bit, unfortunately).

This, in fact, happens to me quite a bit.  I get an idea, some peak of inspiration, find the will to start the project, then half-way through the execution, decide I am crazy and why-am-I-doing-this-anyway and nothing-is-coming-out-right and I’m-not-good-at-this.  But yet, I do it again, and again.

So when Mom got home yesterday, she said, “your corn is ready and you have another ripe tomato– why don’t we pick them?”  And knowing they really needed it, pick them we did.

We didn’t have that big a harvest, as I only had 4 plants… but we did get about 6 ears so far, with two more on the stalk.  We lost a half of one to what looked like rot, and another 1 1/2 was not very well filled out, but the other halves looked very pretty.

We washed them.

And cooked them.

And there they are!

But that’s not really so crazy, after all.  The craziness occurred when I started getting hungry, and decided maybe I would return my sights to those tomatoes I told you about…

They were still sitting on my counter as I’d read that they maybe should get a little riper.  I’d read that putting them near a banana would help them ripen faster.  But then one started to really get ripe.  Knowing that not all of my tomatoes may ripen (at all), I decided to let that one continue to ripen and use any unripe ones for my green tomato curiosities.

I also must make a confession… I’ve never fried anything before.  My use of a pan consists solely of browning ground meat and recently, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (see here and here!).   So for my first foray into the world of green tomatoes, I decided to make Oven-Fried Green Tomatoes!  Of course, by the time I got around to this it was after 9pm.  And I was already tired.  I also decided to use only the one green tomato I had.  I just wanted to try it– I didn’t know if I’d like it!

I used the recipe (link above) as a loose guide.  Truth be told, I didn’t measure anything.  I just eye-balled the measurements and used cornmeal, garlic powder, wheat germ, grated Parmesan/Romano cheese, and a pinch of salt as the breading.  I used milk instead of the water-flaxseed mixture (usually egg in most other recipes).  I did add a pinch of sugar on the tomato slices to “chase away any lingering bitterness.”  Also- make sure you peel the tomatoes! It was a pain in the neck, I’ll admit, but I tried starting to bread them without peeling since it seemed like only a suggestion and I didn’t believe them– really, the breading won’t stick to the skin at all, so just go ahead and do it!

Here’s my results:

Mom and I only had a bite each– which was delicious, honestly.  I’m saving the rest for a special dinner tomorrow as I’m having my last wisdom tooth out on Tuesday and won’t be able to chew very well for a few days.  Fresh corn is also on the menu  🙂

I’m definitely making these again, and will try them really fried as well.  I’m also definitely using this breading combination again!

And I’m going to try to start embracing my spontaneous side… insanity and all.

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Growing, Cooking, Eating.

I’m not the type of person who would normally call herself a “foodie.”  Lately, I think that’s changed.  I seem– for lack of a better word– obsessed with food.  I’ve been finding some amazing recipes that I can’t wait to try out.  My latest desire (besides the Fried Green Tomatoes)?  Homemade Italian Bread.  I’m digging on the idea of warm, crusty Italian bread, sliced the long way with some slices of mozzerella and fresh Compari tomatoes.  Also– homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream and chocolate ice cream banana split style!  And by the time you read this, I will have just completed my second “Food Challenge Test.”  My love affair with food is tempered by severe food allergies– but all good things are worth fighting for, so I’m trying to get back what I can.  Today’s challenge?  Creative Caterpillar Vs. Cantaloupe.

I enjoy my food.  I enjoy the flavors, the textures.  I enjoy both preparing and eating.  And, as anyone who’s been reading a bit knows, I’ve found out this summer that I enjoy growing my food.

So here is my most recent set of pictures, from this week.  These are probably close to my last set of update pictures this season.  That’s because the tomatoes are starting to turn color! (This by the way, I find especially rewarding as they are such a beautiful shade of orange-red.  I feel inspired).

And the peppers are getting nice and big.

And the corn is super tall!

And most of it is just about ready!

And one ear of corn was all ready when I went out the other day!  So I picked it and husked it (outside– in case there were bugs).  There were some earwigs guarding it on the stalk, but I (wo)manned up and picked the corn!  It looks so perfect and beautiful.  Another ear or two looks ready– I’ll be picking it later tonight or tomorrow.  And then I’m going to cook it up and enjoy! (And share a bit depending on how much I have!)

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New(ish) Garden pics!


  Really tall corn plants!  My estimate is that they’re 6.5-7 feet tall– based on how tall they are in comparison to me/my family members!

Husks Forming!

Here you can see the beginning husks– this is taken a few weeks ago.  If you’re having trouble seeing it look to the direct left of the stalk.

 Here you can see a couple– mostly, see the husk forming right above the lower-most stalk of the front corn plant.

 Corn plants all together! Like a very miniature corn field.

 Here are the peppers.  They are still medium-small here.  They’re pretty big now!

 I’ve lost two to rot like this– They get too much sun when they grow on top like this… Although I do think these plants should have grown a bit taller and leafier, which may have shaded them better.  Molecular Sheep thinks the tomatoes next to them might have stunted their growth a bit, but I really can’t complain much.

 I picked the ones that rotted, so they don’t steal nutrients from the other peppers (there’s two more on each plant).  He was still little when I picked him– and rather cute.

 … at least until you turn him over!

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Fried Green Tomatoes

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When I was growing up, one of Mom’s favorite movies (somewhat a family favorite) was Fried Green Tomatoes.  I was a tomato fanatic even then, and the possibility of eating the things in the green state fascinated me.  I hardly thought it was really possible.

Now that I’m growing my own, the thought crossed my mind a few times.  What do they taste like?  How do you make fried green tomatoes?  Is it worth picking some early?

And then a potentially fortuitous thing happened.  While pruning some of the tomato plants the other day, I pruned a bit too close to two large tomatoes.  So close that the stem began to shred right there and the tomatoes’ weight began to strip the stalk.  They were still in my hand, but I could see they were headed for the ground.  So instead of letting nature take its course, I picked them.  And there they sit on my counter to get just a little tiny bit riper before I see what I can do with them.

In the meantime, I found an interesting page at Allrecipes.com.  The page gives not only a recipe for how to fry the tomatoes, but also a whole slew of interesting things one can do with tomatoes at this stage!  I’m very excited… and can’t wait to try this!

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