I Present to You the First Cherry Tomatoes of the Season
Posted on July 26, 2020 Posted by John Scalzi 26 Comments
From our tomato plants, one of which you can see fuzzily in the background of the photo.
And how were they? Pretty good! One’s own tomatoes have a tendency to be juicier and more flavorful than store-bought, because they are allowed to ripen on the vine, and these were no exception.
Soon we will be in the situation that befalls everyone who grows tomatoes, in that we will have far more of them than we will ever be able to eat or give away. But for the moment: Hey, they’re great.
Hope your weekend is also flavorful and juicy, in its own way.
Well, given current circumstances, you could take up canning for your “about to be” avalanche of tomatoes.
> Soon we will be in the situation that befalls everyone who grows tomatoes, in that we will have far more of them than we will ever be able to eat or give away.
Do you… not have squirrels, where you live???
When you get to the tomato inundation stage, I highly recommend this recipe. It freezes well and I kind of have the feeling it would make an excellent addition to a future burrito.
Coincidentally enough, my spouse just brought in the first tomatoes of the season from our garden yesterday – absolutely delicious. Not sure we’ll get many this year, as there is apparently some tomato-loving critter in the neighborhood who keeps eating them, but we will enjoy all we can bring in.
Picked our first real big harvest of tomatoes yesterday, along with enough chard and kale to make veggies for dinner for 5. I suspect we will be drowning in vegetation soon.
I miss tomatoes. I mean, I don’t lack for them at the grocery, but I live in Newfoundland, which means most of the produce has traveled a long distance on trucks. Which is fine for some things, but it means that the tomatoes we get are anemic at best.
A few years ago, I was visiting my parents in the summer. They had planted tomatoes in their backyard, and my mother harvested a bowl of cherry tomatoes and brought them to the back deck. I ate one whole, and suddenly realized my parents were looking at me strangely. “What?” I said. “YOu just made … a noise,” my mom replied, and I realized to my chagrin that, upon tasting a real, fresh tomato for the first time since I’d left Ontario, I’d uttered a sound some might describe as orgasmic.
I regret nothing.
These are my two favorite things to do with cherry tomatoes. Both freeze well. https://smittenkitchen.com/2013/07/one-pan-farro-with-tomatoes/
I’ve only got a balcony garden, and this year I’m growing some small tomatoes (as well as cucumbers, radishes, and some okra because it was the only other seeds left in the store and why not, plus herbs and decorative plants.) There are about 6-8 of them right now, either green or starting to turn colors.
This morning we were watching our church livestream in the living room, and saw a squirrel scurrying along the railing with a green tomato in its mouth. Sigh. (Guess I’ve got to put tinfoil on them or something.)
Other wildlife sightings included a non-hummingbird at the hummingbird feeder, and a hummingbird who got impatient and chased it away, and the doves who are nesting in the hanging planter did shift change so whichever one was sitting on the eggs could go feed. We get doves nesting most years, but this is the first time we’ve had them raise a bunch of chicks and then another(?) pair doing that after the first pair were done.
Tomato sauce made from homegrown tomatoes is fantastic. I mean, this is what God puts on pasta. Simmer those tomatoes long and slow, then put them up in jars (water bath canning is easy and safe), and sometime in midwinter haul them out and open them up. I call it summer in a jar.
We made panzanella today with our first harvest. These came from the feral bushes that seeded themselves.
I had half a pound of cherry tomatoes, diced, with a homemade creamy French dressing with dinner.
I tend to freeze my excess cherry tomatoes. No preparation required – just freeze them on a tray, and when frozen, add them to a large zip-lock bad in the freezer. By mid autumn (what you call fall), I have a number of these zip lock bags, and then handfulls of these frozen tomatoes then make their way into all sorts of recipes which call for tomatoes. (Perhaps even those burrito things – though I would recommend defrosting/thawing first).
I normally would get tomato plants from my mother, who would nurture them from seedlings in the basement. This year, my parents have put the house on the market so there were no tomato plants. I bought a wee plant from a hardware-gardening complex and planted it in a large planter I’d inherited from my folks (they did a LOT of downsizing).
I now have a large, spindly tomato plant with many blossoms and two tomatoes so far. Both still on the vine, awaiting ripening.
I envy you your abundance.
Second on the previous squirrels comment, although up here in Chagrin Falls, we have chipmunks that take one bite out of them two days before they are fully ripe…
I’m begging my wife to let me put snap-traps out….
Extra tomatoes go into salsa, of course.
I have lived in Fla. too long. I forget how the rest of the world works. Had cherry tomatoes in April, May and half of June, then the rainy season started and the bugs and birds just left the skin hanging.
I have some beefsteaks starting to blossom, I hope I get a few to maturity.
Winter is better here. I go for Cherokee purple and Jubilees during winter.
Homegrown Tomatoes are so special that Guy Clark wrote this song about them.
Still waiting for my tomatoes to set fruit. It’s been too cool here, but this week we are supposed to get temps over 80, so that should do it. Fortunately, I have snap beans and summer squash until then. I envy people in climates where you have a tomato glut; we generally get just enough to keep me happy in the moment.
Just in case anyone here hasn’t heard (or recently heard) the official anthem of tomato gardeners; the late and sorely missed Guy Clark sings “Homegrown Tomatoes”
My wife and I make passata with our annual glut which we then freeze in batches for use in winter in Italian based food forms.
Another song, though not just about tomatoes, is Greg Brown’s “Taste a little of the summer” (my grandma’s put it all in jars).
I got started late – my first gardening in decades, courtesy the pandemic. Tomatoes are coming in, and a glut is hoped for. Had one nice eggplant, the rest (and the peppers) are basically flowers at this point.
Anyway, our current strategy means I’ll probably get a chance to garden next year too, and in a more organized fashion. So there’s that.
Here in Southeast Alaska we mostly just dream of homegrown tomatoes. Too much rain (this summer has been especially rainy, with daytime temps not always exceeding 60F – but its a temperate rain forest so what can you expect). On the other hand my peas are doing great! Also kale! Broccoli is the best tasting I’ve ever had but the plants are small this year and were attached by root grubs.
Its been a big year for bear sightings – whether its less tourists so the come to town, late spring making berries later so they come to town, or me being home all the time now so I can see them traipsing through my yard more, I don’t know. We live with bears here and I keep my garbage secure and we live and let live.
We live on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state, in an area with lots of deer. They are cute but voracious. My wife is growing tomatoes in 5-gal buckets on our deck to keep them safe from the rats on stilts (as some gardeners call them). The deck has southern exposure and we’re finally entering summer, so we’re starting to see fruit develop. Mmmmm…homegrown tomatoes…
The king parrots ate all ours, the one season we grew them, and didn’t even say thanks!
Here in sunny California, the climate’s so tomato-friendly that, any time after April Fool’s Day, even idly thinking about tomatoes causes plants to spontaneously sprout from the ground and hurl fruit at you. It’s downright inconvenient, I tell you.
Western Oregon here, where I am just recovering from the recent blueberry deluge. Every year The Boyfriend and I plot how many tomatoes he wants to be bothered to water, and every year we get volunteer plants all around the planned ones. And every year he’s too soft-hearted to pull up the spares, and I do it when he’s not looking, and a few are randomly allowed to persist. I am a capricious deity to my garden. So we have some 8 planned plants, 4 volunteers, and two giant planters where he rescued many of the spare seedlings. It may be the largest harvest we’ve ever had, and more so because I am pruning the first dozen to a single leader instead of letting them sprawl.
We usually have two kinds of cherry tomatoes (Sweet Million for red, Sungold for yellow) because caprese with multiple colors is more fun. And every year our main sauce/slicing/salsa tomato is Brandywine. This year I could only get seeds for another slicer, Mountain Magic, and now it bids fair to be the first to ripen. We are watching it with great interest. I have learned that Brandywine will actually sprout new flowers from the stem where fruits are already forming. Pruning is obviously working here.