Thursday, August 16, 2012
They've taken their time coming in this year, but that might be a good thing with the heat and drought in July. We got concerned and bought tomatoes from the truck farm across the river in Ohio, but I think maybe we should have waited. On the other hand, I know I have plenty so that's a good thing.
This basket holds Black Krim and Pink Oxhearts, both heirloom varieties and some of the very best tasting tomatoes I know--especially the black ones. They don't look ripe, do they? But they are, so soft and sweet and full of juice, with a black look to the insides when they are cut. Black Krim and Black Prince are my official favorite eating tomatoes now, along with the little yellow pear ones that are also coming in abundantly these days. The jars have Mortgage Lifters and a few Jet Stars in them, both good canning tomatoes.
aphrodisiacal properties and were called "the devil's fruit" by the Catholic Church.. Meaning you might be looking at your mate a little differently after eating them. Early herbalists believed that tomatoes were poisonous and many people avoided eating them; you can read more about the tomato's checkered past on this great site, The Tomato Guru. This might have been because the tomato is a member of the family if nightshades, and some of its relatives in this family can be toxic. An early herbalist named John Gerard wrote a book in which he cautioned against eating tomatoes and his words carried weight in the 1600's in England and the early US colonies.
According to the website Tomato Casual, "It is said that if you place a large red tomato on your windowsill, it will scare away evil spirits. You could also choose to place it over the hearth — this is supposed to bring prosperity to the house. Another way to gain money is to place a tomato peeling over your door, which will bring money within four days." I think I might have to try that tomato peeling over the door. (I found another source that noted the tomato on the windowsill belief as coming from Italy : "Tomatoes are also the subject of superstitions. “Some Italians,” reports one treatise, “put a large red tomato on the mantel to bring prosperity to the house. When placed on the window-sill, or in any opening, it wards off evil spirits, and protects the occupants of the house” (DeLys 1989, 249).")
For more fascinating reading about tomatoes, check out these sites:
The origin of the Mortgage Lifter tomato variety: did you know it came from Logan, West Virginia?
Then there's Aunt Ruby's Green Tomato, which apparently started out in Germany--where tomatoes were called "wolf peaches," and there is a folktale, according to many sources, in which witches turned people into wolves by feeding them tomatoes. I've yet to track down that elusive story, though.
A lesson plan with a story about how food gets to our tables.
What would spaghetti be without tomatoes? Check out Storytelling, Cooking and Kids for the words to On Top of Spaghetti and all kinds of other great activities to do with kids in the kitchen.
Have you ever heard of beating your tomato plants with a broom? Hmmm....
Happy reading! It's time for me to get in the kitchen Today's to-do: start the making of red cabbage relish.
Copyright 2012 Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.