Thursday, October 22, 2015
These gallon ice-cream buckets full of about six pounds of ripe Tommy Toes -- an Ozark heirloom cherry tomato variety -- simply appeared the other day on my porch, courtesy of my neighbor's son Patrick, who kept a garden during this difficult-to-garden summer. Patrick says he didn't even plant them; they were volunteer tomato plants, descending from a plant or two that I shared with him two or three years ago. Tommy Toes -- that's their name -- about one inch in diameter, are wonderfully balanced sweet and acid, and the plants withstand terrific Missouri summer heat and pouring rain, do not crack or get tobacco virus, keep their shape, and pump out fruit like mad all the way into the third week of October, and they'd still be growing except the other night we got very close to frost.
It was in a seed catalog that Demetrius and I found the Tommy Toes and liked that they were bred in our climate. A bonus: Wildlife don't raid and chew on Tommy Toes they way they did our Big Beefsteaks or Mister Stripeys or Mortgage Lifters, the varieties visible on the plate in the photo of me that appears to the left of this blog. What to do with six pounds of cherry tomatoes? I gave one pound away. Four pounds I cooked down into two quart containers of sauce I then froze. Some I roasted with olive oil and ate on pizza and pasta, some went into salads, and a few are still rolling around on the counter, getting snacked on. I threw a few into the meadow, hoping they'll volunteer for me next summer. There's nothing as tasty as a homegrown tomato -- in October.