I am, by no means, a "master" gardener. "Lazy" gardener is more like it. Well, I'm being too hard on myself. Probably the most accurate description is "laissez-faire" gardener. Once I plant, I tend to leave my garden alone and see what happens.
Tomatoes is what happened. I am picking them by the basketful. They are so prolific, they have managed to escape the confines of their cages and have overrun the tiny space once designated for peppers, cucumbers and carrots.
This year, I chose four different types of tomatoes. The biggest is called Brandywine. It is a large beefsteak tomato with a pinkish hue. It is my go-to tomato slicing on sandwiches. It's my trickiest variety this year as it seems prone to cracking along the top and side and the leaves turned brown pretty early. Next, the Better Boy. This is a hybrid variety and less prone to disease. It has been a stable producer for me and another good sandwich tomato. Third, I chose a saladette tomato called Juliet. It is oblong and easy to cut up for salads or a sauce. Last, my favorite--a cherry tomato called Sweet 100. It is amazingly productive and aptly named. I pop those suckers in my mouth like candy. Mmmm.
Brandywine, Better Boy, Juliet and Sweet 100
I am in tomato heaven. BLTs for lunch, salads sprinkled with warm cherry tomatoes for dinner. I'm happy to share my bounty with my non-gardening friends. I make fresh pasta sauce, tomato marmalade and enchilada sauce. And still, I have quite the surplus. I find a very easy way to make a rustic tomato sauce. Basically, I just puree the cleaned, chopped tomatoes (seeds, skin and all) in a food processor in batches. Then I put the tomato pulp on the stove and simmer on low for the afternoon until the liquid is reduced by half. I've made several batches of this to freeze for future recipes.
In a few weeks, the tomato harvest will slow down as the weather cools. Just when I think I'll be out of the kitchen, I look out my window. Uh oh. The plums are getting ripe.