Things I Love



Pretty much any home gardener will tell you that there are frustrations … most particularly going outside to pick something and all that’s left of what you had JUST SEEN is a half-eaten something. Wouldn’t it be lovely if one didn’t also have to clean up after those darn varmints???


Thus, one can only imagine the sheer joy I recently experienced when not only did enormous heirloom tomatoes stay on the vines (more about that later), but they actually ripened and were duly picked for use. Waiting and watching can be a painstaking effort and I freely admit to being an early picker.


My only Santa Rosa plum!

This season has not been without it’s “fruits” … I have been enjoying some delicious Sungold and Black Cherry varieties (shown above). But the big ones have not been a success in the past.  In fact, earlier in the season in my “kitchen garden” — so called for it’s placement just outside my kitchen door, with pots of tomatoes and herbs — my pesky perpetrators thought nothing of high-jacking tomatoes just about before my very eyes! The gall!!  My revenge? A generous sprinkling of freshly ground pepper. Everywhere.  Other than my sneezing, it proved a terrific solution.

First-year production of berries has been steady
Without further ado, I present a recent bounty of 6+ pounds picked at once with a couple more pounds left ripening on the vines.  Here’s how I multiplied them to enjoy at a future time while still maintaining that homegrown taste …

Top Row:  Saute chopped onion in good EVOO then saute chopped garlic briefly (I add shredded carrots for sweetness); add coursely chopped tomatoes

Middle Row:  Add good quality jar of marinara (Rao’s or Silver Palate are my faves) and simmer for an hour or so — I add salt, pepper and oregano at this point (all to taste); Tomato skins peel away easily after simmering
Bottom row:  Immersion blender (“boat motor”) is used for blending; Leftover scraps headed for compost bin


Two large batches of sauce above and separated for freezing below; to date 9 containers of 4-5 cups each!