This year I was determined to plant my entire garden from seed. Most everything was a success, minus the few that met their demise with the slugs, but otherwise fairly successful – except for my tomatoes! Of course, another crappy year for The Calhoun’s and their tomatoes. For those of you who know me, you know that I do not eat tomatoes during the off season and that I LIVE for that first fresh farm grown tomato from either my garden or the farmers market (usually the farmer’s market is where I get my first). And from that moment, until the end of the season, I live on tomatoes. Tomato sandwiches everyday, sliced tomato with sea salt or olive oil or just as is, panzanella salad (my two loves – tomatoes and bread – seriously is there anything better!?), pesto pasta with fresh tomatoes, faux bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches, fresh tomato sauce, the list goes on. I’m surprised I don’t have sores all over my mouth from the acid!
But going back to our tomatoes, I used Renee’s garden heirloom tomato seeds – I usually like Renee’s garden – so I’m not sure if it’s the weather we’ve had in Northern Cali (unusually cool and foggy) or if it was a bunk batch – but whatever it is – the plants looked lovely but the tomatoes not so much. Small, small, small – not big enough to slice for a sandwich. So when all the tiny green tomatoes finally started to turn red I started making salsa, sauces, salads, etc. They taste fine – just not that uber juicy giant beauty I like to sink my teeth into.
Luckily the farms in the area have provided me with my fix, as well as Doug’s co-worker and our friend who works at a local farm (we get lots of the leftover tomatoes – perfect for sauces).
So I got my first batch of leftovers and other stragglers that had not been grubbed and made some sauce to freeze. Oh, did it feel good to be in the kitchen, over the stove, smelling the slowly simmering sumptuous sauce – all made with veggies from our yard, our friends yards and a local farm (which the property is shared with our friends’ so essentially our friends property too).
I will look forward to that cold rainy winter day when I pull out a bag to use for our dinner. The smell will bring me right back to the beautiful summer day when this was simmering all day – as kids run barefoot through the house squealing with joy. Ahhhh a moment in time 🙂