posted by [identity profile] revdorothyl.livejournal.com at 06:08am on 01/10/2014
I've been discovering new and creative ways to sneak fresh tomatoes into most everything I make (not to mention, re-learning the fine art of skinning fresh tomatoes for canning and freezing!).

It turns out that most of the assorted heirloom tomato varieties we planted first (I got a collection of four different, unspecified heirloom plants from Hirts') were huge beefsteak-like varietals in pinkish-orange and yellow and red stripes or plain gold, etc., which are really good eating in any form (I often put a plate of thick slices on the table as a side-dish, lightly sprinkled with salt-free Mrs. Dash and some fresh-cracked pepper and sea salt).

And the cherry tomato plants I grew from an unused packet of seed from a year or two ago have gone crazy in the garden, completely burying half of the purple bush beans (though we still get a fist-full of beans to cook each week), all of the snow-peas (alas, poor snow-peas!), the tiny Italian onion sets I grew from seed (R.I.P., little onions!), and half the basil plants I grew from seed and then transplanted outdoors (but I still got more than enough basil for fresh use and to freeze pesto for the winter).

The other monster in the garden turned out to be my pineapple tomatillo plants, that were ever-so-slow to get started, but which eventually grew to mammoth proportions before setting their first fruit, leaving no sunlight for my poor multi-colored bell pepper plants and other near neighbors. Worse yet, we discovered that we don't really like pineapple tomatillos (which are tiny and soft and golden when ripe) in salsa, since we don't make or use fruity gourmet salsas, but only red and green savory salsas of the standard varieties. So, a couple of weeks ago we finally pulled out all the 5-foot-tall and densely fruited pineapple tomatillo plants by their roots, consigning them to the compost piles, rather than let them continue to hog the sun and rain and soil for no good purpose. Oh, well -- live and learn! :)

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