Tomatoes are my favorite simply because there is a huuuuge difference between supermarket tomatoes and garden tomatoes. Everyone always says, “Oh, garden (insert vegetable name here) is so much better.” But frankly, I can’t really perceive much of a difference between homegrown butternut squash and a store-bought variety. But then again, I’m not Alice Waters.
However, tomatoes? Lordy lordy, even a hick like me can tell that there’s no comparison. I get a little squeamish at the idea of buying those nasty little buggers that infiltrate my local grocery store in the middle of February. All hope is lost if they sat a moment too long on the truck on a frigid winter day. A frostbit tomato does not happy Beth make.
I was talking to a co-worker the other day about gardening, which quickly turned into tomato talk. Her mom was complaining that her dad planted four tomato plants when she specifically told him to only plant two. “Now she doesn’t know what she’s going to do with all those tomatoes,” said my co-worker.
Not know what to do with tomatoes? Really? I’m having trouble computing this. I have sixteen tomato plants this year (not counting the two volunteers in the cucumber patch), and between my crack-addict fresh tomato consumption and tomato canning experiments next month, I’m not sure it’ll be enough. Beefsteaks, Lemon Boys, Early Girls – I consider them all my plump little tomato children. And can you ever have too many children?
Wait, don’t answer that.
If you have two tomato plants or twenty, I’m willing to bet your little tomato babies will be happy mingling in a fresh tomato salsa. And happy tomatoes make happy people.
Fresh Tomato Salsa
We used this as a topping for grilled walleye, but go ahead and try it with chips, chicken, scrambled eggs – hell, I’ll just slurp it up with a spoon like chunky gazpacho.
1 large tomato, chopped
Handful cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 Anaheim pepper, seeded and finely chopped
½ small red onion, finely chopped
¼ cup corn kernels
Small handful cilantro, chopped
1 glug EVOO
Juice of ½ a lime
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix and serve.