Tomatoes!

It's been a long wait (three years since we picked the last ones at the Red House), but we finally have tomatoes!


It feels like it took forever, but our cherry tomatoes are turning orange (Sungold) and red (the rest) at a rate of (at last!) more than one per day now, and (as you can see in the photo above) the rest of the tomatoes are starting to turn as well. Finally!

I know that in the past, tomatoes really didn't happen until close to August, and I guess that's still true here in Newburyport. I don't know about you, but pretty much everything takes longer than it says it will on the seed packet. 75 days my ass.

The waiting has been a little frustrating. Not only have chipmunks picked off some cherry tomatoes, but we lost a bunch of our vining types to blossom-end rot:


This is a great example of the tricky ones. They look nice and red from a distance, but when you pick them you see that the whole bottom has rotted out. Then they end up on the compost pile. Blossom-end rot is usually due to a lack of calcium, and I guess this is our own fault, because we never added the crushed eggshells around the plants when we set them out (like we used to do at the Red House). So now we know that's not something you can skip.

Still, not all of them seem to be affected, and some are okay enough that we just cut off the bad end and eat the rest. Case in point:


Last night's tomato-based dinner included a cherry tomato/zucchini/cucumber salad. The zucchini is sliced very thinly the long way, which makes it so nice and tender you don't have to cook it for a salad. The dressing is just lemon juice, olive oil, and a bit of salt and pepper. Kirk also added a hint of mint to this salad, and some paper-thin slices of a green jalapeño. 

Wow! That's four major fruits of summer that we have now: tomato, cucumber, zucchini, and peppers!

Anyway, we are continuing the summer of puff-pastry tarts with two new creations. The square(ish) one is tomato, parmesan and oregano — an Italian treat. The triangle is tomato, cheddar, cilantro, and (again, very thinly sliced) jalapeño. This one is more like Mexican food, but really, all I was tasting was the tomato.

The delicious, flavorful, summer tomatoes.

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