One of these days I'm going to tell you all about my recent excellent adventure on a day trip to a food cooperative -- a blast from my past -- last Sunday afternoon, and what it reminded me about "being church"...but first I need to get over stressing about an upcoming PR event at work, which is making it difficult for me to string coherent sentences together this morning. Stay tuned, as they say.
In the meantime, I will share that I brought two souvenirs back with me from the coop greenhouse -- Red Calabash and Matt's Wild Cherry tomato plants.
I'm having a tomato taste-off this summer. Living in the woods as I do, it's next to impossible to grow vegetables because of shade issues, but I do have a couple of sunny spots in the back yard where I can put potted veggies, so that's what I'm doing. Because, gosh darn it, I want REAL tomatoes, the kind that actually possess flavor and texture, and that come in all sorts of interesting colors and shapes.
(I know what some of you are thinking: Why, LutheranChik, when we read through your blog we can't help but notice that you're strapped into a neverending, full-tilt-boogie thrill ride of decadence and sensual pleasure. I know; I know. It must be that "lifestyle" thing I keep hearing so much about.)
Anyhow...my other contenders for Best Tomato 2005 include:
My favorite tomato of all time is an ugly but extremely delicious li'l number called a Purple Calabash; supposedly the variety is nearly identical to the earliest tomatoes grown in Europe. The plant itself is a weedy, sprawling mess. The tomatoes' skin is a kind of purplish-bronze; the pulp and seeds are green; the flavor is pleasantly tart and intense. Unfortunately Purple Calabash tomatoes are almost impossible to find, even in seed catalogs, and their growing season makes them a challenge here in the Upper Midwest; but one year I actually grew some to maturity, and they were wonderful. I was too pokey to get seeds started for this year, though. So we'll see what the Red Calabash is like instead.
I know tomato growers get a little passionate about their 'maters (I was once on a gardening forum where two individuals almost came to blows, as much as one can on the Internet, duking it out over the virtues of Tomato X vs. Tomato Y), so if any of you are growing tomatoes this summer, let me know about your favorite varieties and how it's going for you.