This is how tomato growing should be. Gluts. Too many tomatoes, and more coming through every day. Giving tomatoes away to friends and family. Eating tomatoes with breakfast, lunch and dinner. Harvesting even more tomatoes and watching them slowly, beautifully, change from green to red.
I've got two baskets going. Ripe and ripening. The ripe ones (mostly Alaskas in this shot) are being used in all sorts of ways. In salads, naturally. And in tomato salads where tomatoes and fresh basil leaves plus maybe a bit of feta cheese or bocconcini cheese are all you need. And at lunch, toast topped with slices of tomato and cheese, grilled. And in the evening, in sauces, such as the fragrant, spicy chicken curry I made the other night (the Beaver Lodges worked a treat in that role). And of course quite a few are given away to people like Pam's mum, Val, who's a great fresh fruit and garden salads fan.
I've learned that if I leave the tomatoes to ripen to a rich red colour on the vine, some of them get eaten by nocturnal visitors. In my inner-city area, that probably means rats, as they are common enough here (outside in the garden, not inside the house, thankfully!), but there's an outside chance it could be some kind of native marsupial, but that's not very likely. 98% chance of rats, 2% chance of a local furry guy. So as soon as the tomatoes start to turn in colour, I harvest them, and in this warm summer weather they only take a couple of days more indoors in the wire basket, away from any sunshine, to ripen. Their flavour seems every bit as good as the fully-vine-ripened ones.
Red and green are the classic colours of Christmas, aren't they? The tomato season and the festive season, they're a natural pairing.
To everyone who drops by to visit my blog, I hope this festive season is a safe, happy and good one for you all. I've been watching the TV reports of the awful, chilly, snowy weather on the other side of the planet and I simply hope you're all warm and cosy and having a good time with the ones you love. And to all my friends here on the southern side of the planet, I hope you have a long, hot, wonderful summer cooled by regular downpours of rain at some convenient time – say, Tuesday nights. Wouldn't that be lovely?
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, everyone!