My husband, Grit, has a garden he looks forward to organizing and planting each year. It is more of a hobby for him than anything practical. I have also mentioned my unwillingness to can it all, or as he teasingly tells people, put out an umbrella and table to sell it.
His desire to change from a lawyer to Mr. Greenjeans comes from 35 frustrating years trying to grow tomatoes around the side and back of our very shady Connecticut home. Also, when you are a lawyer it takes years, if ever, to see any real fruits of one's labor, where a garden, in a few months, is instantly satisfying. Having his garden also makes it less easy for me to plot any sort of traveling until the crop is in. After being a corporate lawyer all those years catching planes, he feels he has the right to limit our jaunts.
So far, the peppers, zucchini and all do well but the corn struggles, even though his Genola friend, Stan Judd, gave him some special corn seeds to plant. The stalks are 9 feet tall but many cobs have missing kernels.
The mystery of the missing corn kernels is interesting. The tassel at the top is the male part of the plant that produces then drops pollen on the silk. The silk is the female flower of the plant where the pollen travels down the shaft to the grain of corn that must be fertilized to grow into a juicy kernel. If bugs or too much rain or whatever interfere with the process, the ear of corn will be compromised.
This year his tomatoes are so delicious we eat them for lunch and dinner every day. There is nothing like eating a good home grown tomato. Makes it difficult to start buying the ones that are offered in stores out of season.
Of course, our dining habits don't even touch the largess he has grown and so friends and family are also enjoying his farming success.
Our neighbor, Brent McQuarrie, phoned and said, "I really don't want to be greedy but having eaten your last tomato yesterday I was about to sit down and have a sandwich and thought, 'I really wish I one of Grit's tomatoes,' so I just had to call."
Of course, he got his wish.
Sharing is fun, especially for me. I do nothing to help yet I get thanked and I'm given salsa, roasted tomato soup and other delectables to eat.
To all the fresh tomato lovers out there, here is a different and delicious tomato soup recipe adapted from Cecelia Ludwig's recipe published in the Deseret News way back in April 1988. A good choice, it uses up lots of ripe tomatoes if you have an overabundance.
I even tried it with heirloom yellow tomatoes that made for a conversation starter at a lunch for friends.
FRESH TOMATO SOUP RECIPE
2 c water
8 lbs. fresh tomatoes*
1/2 - 3/4cup sugar
2 tsp. salt
1-2 tsp. mixed spices (onion, garlic, celery and season salt and basil)
3 large onions
2 stalks celery
6 strips bacon
3-4 tsp. flour
Use a large pot.
Wash and cut tomatoes in quarters, add the sugar, water, salt, spices, onion, celery, uncut parsley and bring to a boil.
Simmer 1 1/2 to 2 hours
Cut bacon fine and brown, leave 3 T grease, stir in flour browning lightly
Put the tomato mixture through a blender.
Return ingredients to pot then stir in the roux bringing to a boil.
Top with dollop of sour cream
This soup freezes well but leave bacon roux out until reheating to serve.
*Use only fresh tomatoes when in season.