Monday, February 2, 2009

The Tomato Glut and Ducks

Please excuse the poor photography, no matter what I did I could not get a non-blurry picture of these two circus-freak tomatoes. Maybe it is the weather, but in my mind they resembled two little ducks, and therefore warranted photographic exploration. Apologies also to my Northern Hemisphere blogging counterparts whose only access to garden fresh tomatoes is through an imaginative journey, but here on the balcony garden, despite abhorrently bad temperatures (cooled to a humid high twenties today) the tomatoes are fruiting in spectacular fashion.

Granted a significant proportion of the crop was lost to the sun, with blistering and rotting commonplace by late last week. But of those I salvaged before the intense scorching, and given that up until today I was housemateless (so glad she is back) there soon befell a glut of tomatoes in the balcony garden kitchen.

So what did I do with them?

* Tomato paste from black russian (a waste given then are so good fresh) which then went into a delightful chilli con carne. Sorry no pics of this but below is a black russian ready to be crisped up with his cherry counterparts (details below) This gem of a dish also took up a roma and some of the larger red cherry tomatoes. It also utilised some of my new yellow chillis and some old red ones, ubnfortunately the yellow chillis were far less hot than their red counterparts and the dish sorely lacked in sweat inducing hotness. Perhaps I should rename it, from Chilli con Carne, to Hotter than a capsicum but not quite as hot as a chilli Con Carne!

* Green zebras, ripening at the rate of one a day have become a salad staple, they keep a green salad green, and will definitely be adorning my welcome back totally awesome housemate dinner tonight of Salt and Pepper squid salad. (photos soon)

* Tomato chips, I know I should have tried sundrying them, but given we are on a very main road I don't wish to match my culinary delight with tyre dust. Cherries, both red and yellow, sliced in half, with pepper salt, a little oil and homegrown basil, several hours on a very low oven later, presto, instant lycopene in a chip!

The season is far from over, so I am sure there will be many more adventures in the kitchen with the garden haul! Anyone in the opposing hemisphere feeling pangs of gardenolicious jealousy, I'll send some fresh tomatoes to you via courier pigeon (though I cannot guarantee the pigeon wont eat them on the way)!


Anonymous said...

Ooo, I'm feeling those pangs of gardenolicious jealousy. :) Your (duckie) tomatoes are priceless, and I can't think of a better use for them than the con carne! (For what it's worth, my balcony is covered in snow today!)

Fern @ Life on the Balcony said...

The tomato chips look so pretty! I've never tried drying tomatoes like that, but they look so good, I just might have to.

Chandramouli S said...

Slurp slurp! I wonder when am I gonna ever take those tomato seeds out of my seeds box!

Dan said...

I am a long way off from harvesting tomatoes so it is nice to see some. So you are in summer now and then you will be in winter when we have summer? Sorry, I kind of snoozed through geography class.

This year I am going to try and start the early tomato I have on Feb 14 in hopes of picking tomatoes on June 1st. This would be approx. one month early for my area.

siskelkk said...

Hi Nancy, the con carne was a total treat! Snoooowwwwww, how I would love a balcony full of snow, but it never snows here in inner Melbourne.

Fern - tomato chips rock and they are so so so easy to make - oven, low heat, several hours et voila! seasoning and herbs and garlic make them extra yummy.

Chandramouli - when can you plant in your part of the world? If now, get sowing! the world always needs more tomatoes. Do you know what kind of tomatoes the seeds are?

Dan - yep summer, very much summer, given the heatwave we just had (several days over 43 degrees, that is over 115 farenheit) it is definitely still summer. The heat can hang round until late may. What tomatoes do you plant to get such early results? Sounds interesting ...

Dan said...

siskelkk - This will be my first attempt at getting early tomatoes. I have fallowed 'Garden Desk' blog and he has done this routine a couple times with good results.

The early tomato I am going to try is 'Siletz'. It is suppose to have fruit developing in 52 days which is really fast. It is just a plain red tomato with average sized fruit.

I am going to save much more seed this season so I can send you some tomato seed in september when it is fall here if you would like. It would actually be pretty perfect as it would be your spring then right?

siskelkk said...

Hi Dan, sounds good, though never know what quarantine and customs would think :) Will look into it