The last of the tomatoes from the backyard vegetable patch made their way off the counter this week. I had covered the plants numerous times due to frost warnings in September. However, eventually I picked the green tomatoes, thinking the September sun lacked the energy they needed to ripen. The tomatoes ripened slowly in brown paper bags on the counter and over time I shared the grape, beefsteak and plum tomatoes with friends and family. Finally, the last of the tomatoes needed dispatching.
In August I processed some tomatoes for this winter so as not to have to buy can tomatoes. I just can’t bring myself to eat them any more. We also used lots of fresh tomatoes in soup and casseroles. Fresh tomato soup was on the menu a few weeks ago.
Not only tomatoes but the whole vegetable patch grew well this year. I grew green onions, peppers, cucumbers, yellow beans, salad greens, kale, herbs, cabbage and a variety of tomatoes. As always, I put too much in the patch but everything manages to carve out a space and grow well. I always vow to plant less next year but that never happens.
The kale is abundant and hardy as it always is. My husband eats it reluctantly and I am tired of it. We continue to cut from the plants in the garden which have survived the white frost mornings and the bitter cold nights. I am convinced that Russian kale plants would survive a nuclear blast.
Meanwhile, I oven-dried the last of the tomatoes and placed them in a good olive oil. We will use them over the next month. We love them on homemade pizza with fresh mozzarella and mushrooms.
It was a great season in the garden.