Friday, July 20, 2012

Visions of Tomato Sandwiches

Upstate New York is not the place you expect to grow tomatoes and have them ready in July.  Not unless you undertake heroic measures, such as starting plants before the last frost date with season extending devices.

Because our community gardens were never open before May in the past, we never bothered with early tomato planting.  We've also found early tomatoes (if not protected) may turn purple in cold, and if they do, their growth is adversely impacted.  So, we just content ourselves with dreaming until August.

The last couple of years, we've had tomatoes late in July.

This year, we were able to get in earlier (because our garden is going to close down in mid-September - and, because of our ultra-early spring) and - today we harvested our first tomato.

Spouse surprised me with a tomato and cucumber salad tonight.  The cucumbers were purchased at the Ithaca, NY farmers market as groundhogs ate our cucumber plants and put them way behind.  The cucumbers were picklers, which I actually prefer to slicers for fresh eating. Each to their own, I guess.

The variety of tomato was Golden Jubilee. (1943 AAS winner) which are meaty (a little dry to my taste) but otherwise an excellent variety.  And the salad was delicious.

Now, if it had been me, I would have done this instead:

Take a tomato, warm from the garden.  Slice.

Take a slice of the best bread you can find, and some Duke's Mayonnaise.(We can't buy it here. This is imported from the Carolinas.)

Spread Duke's mayo on bread. Add tomato.  Your tomato should be one of the juicy varieties.

Eat.

Because of the surprise factor, I never got a picture of that first tomato but I am loving it.

Tomato season has officially begun.  And I will get to eat that sandwich, sooner or later.

What is your favorite summer veggie?

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