CSA 2009, Week Eight.

When I was younger, I had subscriptions to the sorts of magazines that had personality tests for everything — “What Kind of Girlfriend Are You?”, “Are You a Pushover?”, etc. — but my favorites by far were the ones whose purpose was to determine the best perfume for me.  I never ended up with the right scents (I loathe patchouli) but the results never bothered me because I’ve always known what my favorite fragrance is: tomatoes on the vine.

TomatoesThey smell so amazing, don’t they, tomatoes and their plants?  Spicy and peppery, they just typify summer to me, and their presence in my kitchen is something I look forward to all year.  Of course, the summer of 2009 is going to be one of fresh, local tomato shortages, a direct result of the late blight.

Completely aggressive and destructive, the blight has almost totally annihilated The Food Project‘s potato and tomato crop — though, apparently, the Colorado Potato Beetle had already taken out a lot of the plants out in Lincoln.  We’ve been promised green tomatoes in the near future, and while I am excited to receive some sort of tomato, and even though I keep on thinking about gift horses and mouths, I kind of just want a proper red tomato.  I don’t think stamping my foot is going to get me far, so I’ll just settle for what was in our box this week:

  • Asian eggplant
  • Collard greens
  • Dill
  • Green beans
  • Green garlic
  • New potatoes
  • Salad mix
  • Spicy salad mix with arugula and mizuna
  • Tomatoes

These three tomatoes, dewy with condensation from the humidity in the air, were like treasure to me — which is why I ate them over the sink, raw, their juices running down my chin and wrists.  If I could have, I would’ve figured out a way to savor them more, especially considering these will most likely be the final burst of tomato-y-ness I’ll experience for a while…  which is why I took a snapshot.  You know what they say: pictures last longer.

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6 thoughts on “CSA 2009, Week Eight.

  1. I have a lot of tomatoes this year. They aren’t ripe yet but they are growing just fine. I didn’t know you liked them so much, once they ripen I’ll drop some off to you!!

  2. An old roommate of mine once went through a tomato cultivation phase and bought a bunch of plants from the farmer’s market, all sorts of delightful heirloom cultivars in various beautiful colors. Needless to say we were bummed out when they all came out red (lying farmers!) and even more startled when we realized just how many tomatoes a half dozen plants produced. It was fried green tomatoes, tomato jam, caprese salad and tomatoes eaten like apples (I’m so happy you do this too!) until the autumn finally gave us a reprieve.

    Incidentally, as a former CSA’er (now that there’s only me, even the smaller boxes are too much damned produce!) I gotta say I love your CSA posts! I used to love rooting through them even though, like you, I got awful tired of carrots and lettuce. My favorite was the week they gave us blue potatoes! (just in case you’re ever tempted to cook with them, they make delicious french fries and terrible potato salad, even if the blue and yellow hue is mesmerizing.)

    • For the record, if your friend ever has too many tomatoes, I will happily accept them, via air mail, and give them a loving, warm home in my belly. Last night I broiled some green tomatoes with goat cheese and balsamic and tonight I may fry some up with panko, but right now what I really really want is tomato jam. Got a recipe to share?

      Thanks for the CSA-post love… and the purple potato suggestions. I normally make them crisped-up and roasted with thyme, salt and lemon, but since you know how I feel about the fry, that might be the new thing for me to try…

      • I’ll try to find the tomato jam recipe. It’s in any one of about thirty cookbooks, and it may well be in one that my roommate owned and thus took away with her.

        The blue potato fries are especially good because their starch make a really delicious/pretty spotted coating on the outside. A bit like a sweet potato fry, only not disgusting. But your suggestion also sounds delicious! I think they are definitely a potato that needs to be crisped/fried/grilled/sauteed as opposed to boiled. And I would marry thyme if, instead of being an herb, it was a man.

        • I would marry thyme if, instead of being an herb, it was a man and I wasn’t already with Keith.

          I love that you think sweet potato fries are gross too. A certain mutual friend of ours who shall remain nameless thinks I’m nuts for disliking the SP, but I’m sticking to my guns.

          If you can’t find the tomato jam recipe, don’t sweat it. I’ve got some, but I figure it’s good to get a tried-and-true one too. Last year in Oregon I noticed a lot of restaurants were into making their own ketchup and tomato jam, so I was really looking forward to trying it myself this summer, but this blight is kind of cramping my style.

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