I went to visit my tomatoes this morning and give them some TLC.
I made a deal with the SO in May – land for labour: I could have a wee bit of sunny space in his backyard to plant tomatoes as long as I took care of them. Friends provided eight seedlings and it is hard to believe that in 3 months they have grown from wee things to the current jungle…we kept having to restake them and come up with Rube Goldberg-esque contraptions to keep them aloft.
So far, we’ve harvested one ripe tomato but many on the vines and ripening…
My mother grew roma tomatoes in our backyard the summer I was nineteen. I have very fond memories of feeding my friends Pasta Puttanesca after afternoons spent sitting under the apple tree drinking Growers Apple Cider (we were 19, living in Vancouver and those 2 litre bottles of Cider just seemed so sophisticated…hey, it was the mid-80’s…)
Puttanesca Pasta Sauce (4 servings)
Start a few splashes of olive oil heating at low-medium heat in a sauce pan. When olive oil is heated, add 4 – 6 diced tomatoes (skin on), 1 diced onion, 2 cloves of minced garlic and cook until onion is soft. Then add 8-10 chopped kalamata olives* and 2 anchovies (I use anchovy paste from a tube in a pinch). Cook until reduced and then mix with pasta.
*Easiest way to pit olives is to take a large chef’s knife, lay the widest part of the blade broadside across the olive and hit the wide part of the blade sharply with the palm of your hand.
I love checking in on my tomato plants, watering them, and counting the number of new tiny baby tomatoes that seem to morph magically out of the yellow flowers. And I love how even touching a tomato leaf emits the smell of ripe tomatoes and promises the bounty to come…
After a busy week full of catered lunches and airport food, it was grounding to spend some time today with the jungle and reconnect with real food.