Last year I was devastated when the mice managed to eat / damage / decimate most of my tomato crop. The little buggers weren't picky either - sampling this one, that one, any-which-one, and never finishing the meal they started.
What a waste! Haven't they heard of food poverty?
Thankfully, this year we have seen very few mice in the garden, so I am harvesting enough tomatoes each week to keep me busy in the kitchen over the weekends, when the pressure of (income producing) work is lessened.
|Clockwise from the top left:|
My new purple tomatoes, golden yellow,
red beefsteak heirloom and cocktail tomatoes
It was a black (purple) tomato plant.
I have been excited - yes, it doesn't take much, does it ;) - to see what developed.
They are much smaller tomatoes, and really interesting.
|A sliced purple tomato|
I need to make a salad from the different tomatoes I'm growing to show you the different colour contrasts.
A mixed tomato salad with a bit of basil and crumbled feta, sprinkled with balsamic and olive oil - heaven!!
But, the main reason I grow tomatoes is so that I can preserve them.
|There are approximately 16 large beefsteak|
tomatoes reducing down in this pot - with 1 single
yellow one added (it was almost over-ripe and I
didn't want to waste it).
Cocktail tomatoes are to throw into a mixed salad. Only. I tried preserving them whole a few years ago, but it was a waste of time. They disintegrated down into an insipid watery mush, and the small jars took up far too much space in my pantry.
Heirloom tomatoes, on the other hand, are invaluable.
My main source of tomato purée is from the heirloom tomatoes - the beefsteak and the yellow one. I love the irregular shape of the heirloom tomatoes - it almost gives each one a different character.
(Did you know that perfectly round tomatoes are a result of needing a suitably tidy shaped tomato to put on a take-away hamburger? Have you ever hear anything more ridiculous? The bloody hamburger dictates what tomatoes are commercially grown these days - if you can call them tomatoes, as I find them completely tasteless and pasty in colour.)
|This is what I mean about a disfigured|
heirloom tomato. Don't you love the
uneven appearance of them :)
The yellow tomatoes are my favourite, too - and they make the most amazing tomato purée - producing a much deeper colour than that of the beefsteaks. The purée from the yellow tomatoes seems almost tinged with a dash of turmeric. That is quite a contradiction, as I had imagined, given their yellow appearance, that that purée would have more of a yellow appearance.
I use the purée in a myriad of ways - for pizza bases, in casseroles, soups, dips, sauces, etc. This winter I also want to try using it in bread, in place of water :)
|Recycled plastic containers holding yummy|
thick tomato purée paste cooling down
before they are popped into the freezer.
1.125 ltrs of tomato to enliven those wintry
nights. One of those oval 125ml containers is
enough for a meal. I have also water bath preserved
tomato puree in larger Ball jars for my pantry :)