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Vine-Ripened Tomatoes

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We've picked tomatoes since the first of June, a month earlier than the norm of just a few years ago. Perhaps we're seeing a new norm emerging, or perhaps there won't be a norm anymore.

My brother from Kansas stopped by for a brief visit and left with our entire stash of vine-ripened tomatoes except for a couple of dozen small ones that I later turned into spaghetti sauce. What you see in the picture are the tomatoes I harvested yesterday. The dark colored ones are a heirloom variety called Cherokee Purple that I planted for Kathy. Personally, I feel that a tomato ain't a tomato unless it's red.
2012-06-24 005


Kathy liked my Mexican Spaghetti Sauce and wanted the recipe. I'd bought four poblano peppers at Saturday's local farmer's market along with some pickling cucumbers. I sauted half a chopped onion in canola oil while I roasted the peppers and four cloves of garlic. I removed the skins, chopped, and added them to the onions along with a teaspoon of salt. Next three teaspoons of chili powder and one of oregano went into the pot. After stiring and allowing the spices to bloom, I added a cup of water, a small can of tomato sauce, and the two dozen small tomatoes sans their skins which I'd removed earlier. When the tomatoes became soft, I crushed them. Then I added a big handful of chopped cilantro, covered the pot, and simmered the mess until it was the right thickness. Today, I added a sauted and sliced chicken breast to the sauce and served it over linguine.

What? Oh, the cucumbers. We ate them on Saturday. Chopped cucumbers and chopped plum tomatoes with two roasted and minced garlic cloves, one thin-sliced Jalapeno pepper, seeds and all, a dozen thin slices of onion, salt and pepper plus a tablespoon of canola oil and a splash or two of red-wine vinegar. Chill for a while.
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