This is truly a bummer, usually by now my tomato plants are at least bearing some fruit. Especially my little cherry tomato plants. So far this year there is nada, zip, squat to be seen on those tall leafy stalks. I like to pick my cherry tomatoes, freeze on a baking sheet, and pack in zip-lock baggies. Then I can just plop them in a sauce for a blast of fresh tasting brightness, very welcome when it gets dark at 4pm. Keeping my fingers crossed that August is a little kinder to them, than June & July have been.
But me thinks huge lovely orbs of red fleshed goodness will not be arriving as expected. At least not this summer in CT and the upper East Coast. Northeastern NY State is already reporting blight on crops and burning them to prevent the fungus spores from spreading.
Pity the poor organic farmer they will be the most heavily affected, as they do not spray their crop with pesticides. The roadside farm stands could turn out to be barren wastelands. Where’s Mad Max when you need him! No heirlooms, yellows, greens, oranges and fire engine reds. I am hoping it’s not so, but what’s most likely to make it to market will be very costly.
On an upbeat note, my zucchini plants are flourishing! Right now they are full of zucchini blossom flowers, fancy a little tray of fried delights anyone? Basil & Chives also doing exceptionally well.
But I want my ripe warm juicy tomato, sliced, on a toasted baguette that has been rubbed with a clove of garlic, sprinkled with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, splash of my balsamic syrup and a chiffonade of basil. The flavour of summer captured in your mouth. It does not get any better than that!
Here’s a clever idea. My fathers Dr. who happens to be a huge foodie and whom I adore, gave me a tip, albeit one I have yet to try. He buys jars of Ba-Tempte pickles, eats those, saves the jar and the brine, and packs in small (tiny) green tomatoes. Puts it back in the fridge, waits a week or so, and has a snack of crunchy sour green tomatoes to munch on! I am going to have to give it a try. That is if I get any tomatoes at all. Come on Mother Nature, play nice!