Sunday, August 15, 2010

Tomatoes, tomatoes

The tomato harvest is coming in nicely. Patience is probably the key; they do seem to stay at the hard green stage for quite awhile, but once they start ripening it is pretty steady. We've been having lots of good salad, sometimes using lettuce that we've grown indoors on our Sunstation.

For eating fresh, the Brandywine is still my pick for the best flavor. The yellow pears are tasty and are low in acid. Brown berries are an excellent cherry tomato. The Cherokee purple are a bit of a disappointment, not terribly productive, especially after one of the main stems broke.

An interesting new one for us is a patio tomato with the uninspired name "Patio hybrid" from Totally Tomatoes seed company. The tomatoes felt so firm that we wondered if they were ripe, even when bright red. However, they sliced well, without the hard white core that the heirlooms are inclined to, and proved quite ripe and nice for sandwiches.

Last week we decided to try making tomato sauce.This was so much easier than I had imagined: dip the tomatoes in boiling water for 20 seconds, and then put them in a bowl of ice water. The skins really do slide right off! Our recipe was simple: garlic, onions, fresh oregano and basil, and our secret ingredient: ground buffalo meat. I don't know if it was the buffalo that did it, but the sauce was fabulous! A later batch made with ground beef was not remarkable, though other factors such as cooking time and the amount of fresh herbs added may have been in play.