If there is any food out there better than a fresh-picked tomato in the sunshine, I would love to hear about it. My tomato plants have been producing ripe fruit for over a month now, and they peaked this past weekend, when I picked a big basket full. My neighbor's have a dozen or so plants too, and they're sagging with huge, ripe, amazing tomatoes. I'll have to do some canning this weekend - I'm cooking with them and of course eating them raw as much as I can, but I can't keep up. What a great problem to have.
Besides the tomatoes, my family gave me a ton of fresh veggies when I was home last weekend. My sister's family has a big garden out in the country, and they gave me a bunch of pototoes, zucchini, these great twisty cucumbers, and peppers. To round things out, my parents gave me some sweet corn, a big bag of carrots and two big bunches of onions. And last week my brother, nephew, and I went down to a cool public apple orchard south of town and filled a couple bags. Needless to say my tiny kitchen is stuffed with veggies, and I'm just trying to keep up with everything at this point.
I'll keep this post to tomatoes, since I think they deserve the most attention, and everything else keeps a little longer. I've been making tomato-based suppers just about every night - there's a pot of marinara sauce on the stove right now. Here's a couple of pics of how tomatoes have been making me happy the last few days:
Another stove-top tomato sauce, over polenta slices. I mixed an ear of sweet corn in with the polenta, along with some fresh Italian parsley and basil.
I'm eating cherry tomatoes all day long. Here they're mixed with a tofu scramble, with some grated carrots and zucchini.
Just about every day, for lunch or an after-work snack, I make a little tomato and cucumber salad. They're the peanut butter and jelly of fresh summer veggies, really loving each other. Here they're joined by walnuts and walnut oil, with just a little sea salt. Walnut oil has a subtle flavor, and naturally complements walnuts really well. I'll have at least one full day off this weekend, so I'm looking forward to spending some more time cooking with the bounty in the kitchen. I know that in January I'll be dreaming of these days :)