Saturday, August 6, 2011

Who Could Be A Mater Hater?

To be honest, my love of tomatoes has not always been. I mean they were ok. Most of my experience as a kid with tomatoes came from a can, with the exception of my dad's spaghetti sauce which I believed was more about alchemy than tomatoes. In my teens I discovered that people actually grew tomatoes, but still my interest was never peaked. One day, while reading a magazine in a doctor's office, I saw an article depicting images of something called "Heirloom Tomatoes". now these were no ordinary red tennis ball sized veggies- they were purple and yellow, green and orange; ranging in size from tiny grape like fruit to ginormous grapefruit sized beauties. It was at that moment that I became intrigued.

Most cooks talk about flavor profiles as what draws them to a certain ingredient- but for me it's color, shape and texture that draws me in...which might explain my disasterous experience with some yellow egg-shaped tomatoes I grew last year . They were so bad that I couldn't give them away, at least to people who had tried them. I was not happy to see that the gorgeous little darlings had re-seeded themselves into my tomatoe patch to make a return visit this year...gotta admire them for their perseverence.

I planted several varieties of heirloom tomatoes this year. With the crazy weather, including a tornado that hit less than 5 miles from my home, my maters have struggled. Slowly but surely they have begun to ripen and are now yeilding their wonderful greens, yellows, blood reds and orange fruit. I woke up wondering what to do with them to preserve their uniqueness- other than of course slicing them up on a couple of pieces of toast with salt, pepper and balsamic dressing. I found this fom one of my favorite blogs. I believe Black Krim Tomatoe Butter may just be the thing for my favorite tomatoes...

Monday, August 1, 2011

Zucchini Bread

I love to make up my own recipes or at least put some twists on others, but sometimes you find one that just works. This was the first year that I grew zucchini. Truthfully I had never tasted the stuff, but it sounded interesting so why not. Well, the plants grew into these paleozoic monsters and the zucchini just about took over my freezer. That is until I discovered Zucchini Bread and this recipe. It really is worth a try. It makes 2 loaves, one to eat and the other to freezer or gift. I pulled up the remains of my dino squash today, but we'll still have zucchini well into winter. And of course there's always next year ;)

Gettin' Tomatoes Nekkid

Here in the rural south you don't get naked; you get nekid. Stripping off your clothes in order to enjoy fun or rest. Today, my tomatoes are gettin' nekid. I'm discovering that prepping tomatoes for canning is sort of a messy business. Juice all over the counter, dripping onto the floor- seeds everywhere. On the other hand, the color, the smell and even the feel of these red fruit is really a happy experience. One of the best parts is slipping off the tomato skins, sort of like undressing after a long day and getting ready to just relax- in this case a pair of shorts and t-shirt is replaced by a glass jar, the couch my pantry shelves.