Friday, January 27, 2017
Last of the Tomatoes
All good things must come to an end (luckily this is also true of bad things!) and today I opened my last bag of frozen tomatoes. They are processed with onion, garlic, basil, and oregano, and I will cook the batch down with some grated carrot to make pasta sauce. It's simmering now; smells marvelous.
I took the opening of the last bag as a cue to dig out the Fedco catalog that arrived in December. I kinda wish it would arrive in January instead; in December I am too busy, and not yet weary enough of winter, to appreciate its arrival. Nevertheless, I am glad it is here now, helping me dream of long summer days.
I'll be ordering Sungolds cherry tomatoes, for sure. They are always the first and last to produce; I was still picking Sungolds when the frost came. I imagine I will have a few volunteers as well, since they are so prolific I always miss a few. And, importantly, they are my mother's favorite! Since I refuse to grow squash for her (takes up a ton of garden space and also ewwww) I owe her these at least.
Garden peaches are another favorite. A small, yellow tomato, they have a relatively short growing season - 71 days - and very sweet fruit.
I'll also be reprising the Jubilees we got last year. They were a surprise, which Fedco substituted for the Cosmonaut Volkovs I had ordered. Their season is a bit on the long side for Maine - 80 days - so it's a risk. If we get cool June, or a rainy summer, they may not produce. But they were so beautiful, and so tasty, that I'm willing to take the chance.
I didn't love the Oregon Spring variety we got last year. The flavor was a little underwhelming. It is a full size tomato with a very short growing season - 58 days - that will thrive even in cool summers. I was tempted to get it as a hedge against a bad season, but the flavor, while good, suffers in comparison to the other varieties...and flavor is, after all, the whole point.
So, what to get in its place? I could return to the Cosmonaut Volkovs that have performed well in the past, but I do like to try new things, so I am leaning toward the Berkeley Tie Dye, a full size short season tomato said to have an almost spicy flavor. Based on my quick Google image search it appears to be a very handsome fruit as well - maybe that shouldn't matter but I am an artist, after all.
Like many Mainers, I don't mind winter, but I spend much of it dreaming of spring.