Monday, October 11, 2010

The late greats

It's funny because just a couple weeks ago I was talking to someone about how Sam's Mom did not admit that I was stronger than she was until I was something like 17 years old. Now, granted, I didn't spend a lot of time working on my upper body strength in high school or anything, unless you count holding up my horn in marching band. And, granted, Sam's Mom has always been above average when it comes to physical strength. However, Sam's Mom is also kind of petite, like so petite that she does not meet the minimum weight requirement to take a Segway tour of San Francisco, which is something hasn't been a concern for me since I was about 10. Anyway, whoever I was talking to and I decided that this is an understandable impulse--after all, Sam's Mom created me and watched me grow since I was just a baby, so maybe it was hard to get used to idea that this creature that popped out of her so many years ago was now fully grown, way larger than her, and wearing size 34 pants.

This is exactly how I feel about the tomato plants in my backyard, three of which ended up growing taller than I am. I saw you when you were four inches tall and I nurtured you and I spread Chickity Doo Doo on you. It's not cool that I now have to jump to grab fruit from you. However, it is cool that all five of my tomato plants are currently bursting with a dozen new fruits every morning as a result of this lovely Oakland indian summer. This is the moment I was waiting for to make the sun gold tomato gazpacho from Ad Hoc At Home.

Unfortunately I ended up making that a few weeks ago for a dinner party because, seriously, I could not wait any longer. All over the country, but especially in California, tomatoes just seem to be incredibly, incredibly late this year. It's the middle of October (oh my God is it the middle of October?) and my Early Girls, which, as their name suggests, are supposed to be enjoyed early in tomato season, are just now starting to ripen. Worse, a couple of my plants have been stricken by fusarium or something like it, which means it's a race between fruit and fungus (it feels like there is some sort of Congressional race I could reference here) to see how many ripe tomatoes I get before the disease takes hold. Luckily, my plants are huge and wear size 34 pants, so it's gonna take quite a while before the fungus reaches the top.

And really, who cares about the time of the season? Instead of tomato and melon salad I get baked eggs with sun gold salsa in the morning. Instead of gazpacho I get quick fresh tomato sauces over orzo. How bad can that be?

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