Tuesday, August 12, 2008

And so it goes...

I have been harvesting tomatoes for about three weeks now, and I have been a wee bit unhappy with what I've gotten.

For one thing, my Mortgage Lifter tomatoes, which I had tasted elsewhere and remembered as good, and had also had positive feedback on in a gardening forum I hang out in, have turned out to be not so great. They fruit heavily and large, but the texture isn't great and neither is the flavor. I was very religious with the lime this year since I had such a problem with blossom-end rot (BER) the last two years. This year, BER wasn't really a problem to speak of, only lost four tomatoes to it early on and on different plants, so not a big issue.

The Brandywine tomatoes are heavenly in taste and texture and I will definitely be trying them again next year. But even with 9 tomatoes on the vine, only one has ripened (about two weeks ago) and the rest remain green. I am tapping my foot. Those were about the best-tasting I have grown. But it's a common complaint among growers that the production is low.

The Brandy Boy tomatoes, which are a cross of Brandywine and Better Boy, produced fabulous-tasting fruit last year, but this year, nothing has ripened yet. About 10 fruits on the vines, and I am waiting....

The Cherokee Purples are also reputed to be crazy delicious, but at this rate, we may never know. It has about 10 tomatoes on it, but none seem to be ripening, and they grow like molasses.

The Watermelon Beefsteak plant is the most interesting. I got it last, so it was smallest, but it quickly grew to be one of the larger plants. It has about six tomatoes on it, but again, grows like molasses and none appear to be even close to ripening.

The Big Beef tomatoes are fairly good, but don't hold a candle to Brandywine. Large fruits are firm and don't release a huge amount of juice, so they work well for about anything from sandwiches to bruschetta. They are beginning to ripen about one per week. There are seven more on the vine. But based on the cool down in the weather, they probably won't all ripen before the season ends. Hmmm...fried green tomatoes. Or green tomato pie.

And speaking of bruschetta, this past weekend our friend Deirdre came to visit and I made bruschetta with the fresh tomatoes and fresh basil. It was killer delicious. A little too much so. I started by cutting up one 14" baguette. Then I asked Deirdre, "enough, or should I cut up the other loaf?" "Do it," she responded, "the one may not be enough." So I did. And we pigged. There was enough bread for 8 slices each. I couldn't eat my last slice because I was getting too full and needed to leave room for the wonderful shrimp scampi Jess was going to make and the delicious pan-seared scallops and corn on the cob that I was going to make. Oh, and dessert...I had bought a couple of slices of chocolate mousse cake from Cardinali Bakery in Syosset, which is without a doubt the best chocolate mousse cake on the Island or even in the city; and I also made my new favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe from the NY Times. Wonderful. But it was all too much food, and I went to bed bloated and with acid reflux. Oh, well. I went to bed happy!


At 10:42 AM, August 13, 2008, Blogger Matt said...

Sorry to hear about your tomatoe plants not producing like you wanted. That has to be annoying especially with all the time and money you put into them.

I've heard of fried green tomatoes (even tried them once), but green tomatoe pie is something new to me.

At 2:54 PM, August 13, 2008, Blogger Dantallion said...

Mother nature seems to be forcing just about everyone to be patient this year. Nobody I know is having great success with their gardens this year.

At 3:38 PM, August 13, 2008, Blogger Michelle Ann said...

Have you tried using organic potting soil mixed with chicken manure...it works really well and gives us great fruit. However, the ride home from the nursery is a bit fragrant...yikes!


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