Buckets o’ Bounty Revisited

I picked my third bucket of tomatoes the other night.  I really can’t tell you just how pleased I am about it.  My first two years gardening at Smith, the tomatoes were only o.k., one year even anemic, six plants producing hardly what any one of this year’s twelve plants has.  We enjoyed what we harvested, but it was not near enough for me to consider the tomato venture a success.  Certainly not abundant.  This year, that’s all changed.  Every time I visit Smith (the largest of my three gardens), I leave with a bucket of red treasure, pounds of juicy, red joy.

Gospel measure

We have been making sauce, eating them raw and sliced, freezing some for later use, and giving those splendid red orbs away.  Last night for supper we had slow-baked tomato slices (with homegrown basil and oregano sprinkled on top) over pasta, a rich tomatoey treat almost as sweet and nice as some luscious  dessert. 

My favorite way to use tomatoes so far this year is in fresh, raw salsa and Bloody Marys.  The salsa, an August treat in our home for several years now, we make with chopped tomatoes, onions, garlic, and jalapeno from the garden, with only lime, salt and cilantro from the store.  The Bloody Mary’s are my wife’s clever brainchild.  Fresh salsa produced in a food processor creates a lot of juice, too much for easy chip dipping.  So she strains most of it off, adds Worcestershire sauce, ice and vodka, and voila, a refreshing summer drink.  I have never liked canned tomato juice, but the fresh strained variety is sweet and clear, very different from what you buy at the store.

Is it salsa yet?

I love that we are now inundated with tomatoes.  I can still hardly believe my eyes every time I go back to Smith after four or five days and retrieve another bucket full.   More tomato treats are in our future such as Caprese salad (if only we made fresh mozarella), a BLT or two,  and maybe a few dozen pints of chutney.  I know it won’t last forever, but while it does, we’re going to enjoy wallowing in our own little tomato heaven.

Tomatoes: Tall as me

About literarylee

I sling words for a living. Always have, always will. Some have been interesting and fun; most not. These days, I write the fun words early in the morning before the adults are up and make me eat my Cream of Wheat.
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