Tuesday, August 18, 2009

tomatoes gone wild

"Only two things that money can't buy, That's true love and homegrown tomatoes"- Guy Clark

And I couldn't agree more! I love my tomato patch, it's wild and unruly,home to bugs and weeds as well as the tomato plants. I always seem to plant them to close together, that little 2" plant quickly grows to 3ft tall! They are to me the essences of summer. I love the smell of all the plants together, brings me right back to my childhood, popping warm tomatoes into my mouth as I wondered in the garden. I love growing tomatoes because the are so easy to grow here. Put them in the ground at the end of may, water, lots of sunshine, the odd conversation with your plants and Voila! A fabulous reward of summer filled with tomatoes! I like growing all the really weird kinds that you can't get the supermarket. Here's a little tour around my patch of what I've grown this year.

Yellow pear tomatoes, the size of a cherry, great for snacks and good in salads. Sweet taste, low acid.

Lemon boy tomatoes, the size of a large plum. Great in almost anything salsas, tomato sandwiches, tomato sauce, salads... I made yellow ketchup with these last year and it turned out great.

Roma tomatoes, the size of plum. I use these mostly in tomato sauce, I use them fresh in sauce now and in a few weeks when the glut of tomatoes arrive, I make a canned tomato sauce for the winter months.

Fresh picked tomatoes ready to be made into a salad. Pineapple tomatoes, this is an heirloom tomato and my first year growing it and haven't tried it yet. It's almost ripe, so will report back on it soon. It's the size of an apple.

A patio tomato, always good for early tomatoes and easy to grow in a pot.

The patio tomato full view. I also grew a ton of cherry tomatoes, sweet 100's but forgot to take a picture of them. They are a sweet small tomato great for eating as snacks, in salads and salsas.

Simple tomato salad with basil, olive oil and salt and pepper. The perfect companion to any summer dinner.

Friday, August 14, 2009

a day in the country

Last weekend we went for a country drive and spent the day in a small town. I grew up in a small town about the same size as this one. It was nice to visit small town with all it's charm and country life. It was a lovely day and drive. We went to a local farm, that has a deli/bakery and little veg shop. They make the best sandwiches and home baked pies. Yummy raspberry rhubarb pieThe farmmom and dad on the swingthe local churchcute country housesthe town of ashcroftmom and dad playing by the pond

country life...

Monday, August 3, 2009

everything but the kitchen sink summer pasta

This pasta I cook often in the summer, basically bung in loads of fresh veggies in a frying pan cook till almost cooked, I like them to have a bit of crunch and retain that fresh taste. Add fresh herbs, good olive oil, toasted pine nuts, salt and pepper. Mix together with pasta and serve! For this one I used carrots, zucchini, yellow beans, cherry tomatoes, 1 large tomato (with the seeds taken out, a bit of pain but worth doing as you don't end up with soggy pasta), basil and thyme. A hint about thyme, the flowers are great to use in pasta and salads! Just don't cook them, add them at the end of a pasta dish or use in salad dressing or just sprinkle on top. If you have a little Parmesan kicking around that is great in this too. And for pudding...

Fresh blueberry pie! Very easy to make. Blind bake a pie shell and cool, make a glaze( I used a shop bought one) stir fresh blueberries into the glaze and turn out into the pie shell. Chill in the fridge for an hour. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Enjoy! I love this the next morning for a sneaky breakfast with a big cup of tea.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

when you've got lemons...

You make lemonade of course!

Recipe for the best homemade lemonade!
-5 lemons juiced and the zest off of one of them
-make a sugar syrup about 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water,
-put in a pan and heat on low till sugar dissolves
-put lemon juice, zest and sugar syrup into jug
and top up with cool water to taste
-or don't top with water and leave the concentrate in the jug
-pour a glass half full of concentrate and top with sparkling mineral water
and a sprig of mint for a cool summer time drink!
oh, and don't forget the ice!

Relax and enjoy in the summer sun!