Posts Tagged ‘tomatoes’

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so many tomatoes, so little time

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

What have I been doing lately? Picking and eating tomatoes. Lots and lots of tomatoes from our tomato raised garden bed.
tomato bed

And when I’m not doing that, I am watering the lawn (it’s that time of year again… the fall grass-growing project is in full effect!) And when I am not doing that, I am working. And then running. And then sleeping.

Yup, my schedule is pretty defined these days. We are two weeks into the lawn watering, so next week will ease up and I will be able to reclaim 2 whole hours of my day. I CANNOT WAIT!

But back to tomatoes. Their time is going to wind down very soon when frost comes, but so far we have had only one night when I had to cover the tomato plants with sheets. Otherwise, the temps are still fairly warm and humid here in Southern NH for early fall. So we continue to pick!
green tomatoes

japanese black trifele

Just waiting...

mortgage lifter

Mortgage lifter heirloom

orange grape

Orange grape tomatoes

romas

Ripening romas

Here is a sampling of tomatoes picked over the last few weeks:
heirloom tomatoes

heirloom tomatoes

heirloom tomatoes

heirloom tomatoes

Cannot get enough tomatoes! In tomato love.

Off to peruse the garden on this lovely, warm, and finally sunny Sunday. Tomato recipes and ideas coming soon…

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Posted in The Growing Season | 17 Comments »

tomato basil mozzarella salad

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

No shortage of tomatoes going on around here. We are eating them all the time. I love all the different types of tomatoes we are growing, including several varieties of heirlooms. One of my very favorite dishes is a simple tomato, basil, and mozzarella salad.

tomato basil mozzarella salad

It is so easy to make. Slice up whatever tomatoes you have on hand. I have been using combinations of yellow pear, orange grape, mortgage lifter heirloom, and japanese black trifele heirloom. Gently toss with some good-quality organic extra virgin olive oil, a dash of sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper, and freshly chopped basil.

fresh basil

Potted basil plants on our front stoop.

Add some pearl-sized fresh mozzarella balls and gently combine.
tomato basil mozzarella salad

And you are done. A great end-of-summer side dish. Also fantastic on top of a garden salad or as a bread topper.

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Posted in Cooking Adventures, The Growing Season | 1 Comment »

come on, irene

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

Well, we survived hurricane tropical storm Irene in one piece. We spent all day yesterday prepping for her arrival. I installed a new gutter piece on the flat roof over our living room. Craig caulked the gutters over the porch. He mowed and trimmed the dogwood tree out front. And we cleaned up the yard. I picked any tomatoes from the garden that looked even the slightest bit ripe… just in case.

Well, Irene did indeed come through starting around 7 a.m. this morning. But she was much gentler than we thought she would be. Which I suppose is a good thing. Our power went out just before noon. We got a little bit of water in the basement, but nothing that couldn’t easily be mopped up (yeah shamwow!)

Craig and I decided to take a long walk to feel the rain and the winds. We saw some downed trees on the golf course near our house, and we saw some fallen limbs here and there. But no major flooding or craziness. Around 3 p.m. we went out to grab a late lunch, sandwiches from one of our very favorite local pubs. We still were without power, so it seemed like a great chance to hop in the car and listen to the radio for updates.

Within 5 minutes of getting back home, the power was back! Yeah! So all in all, we lost power for just over 4 hours. I think that everything in the fridge and freezer made it through. I had made sure the icemaker was doing its job for the days leading up to Irene’s arrival, and I am thankful that I have more than a few mason jars of frozen homemade broth on hand, which I am sure helped to keep the temp in the freezer cold. Nothing seemed to have thawed in that time space.

So now it is night time, and while the rain has moved on out, there are still some really crazy wind gusts going on. It is really crisp out and the constant breeze and winds remind me of fall. I am just not quite there yet, even though I realize that the end of August is here.

I am very thankful that the damage was not worse. While I love good weather, being a homeowner makes me more nervous and sobers me to the seriousness of potential storm damage. I am sending out all my good thoughts to those who fared worse in this storm.

And I hope that wherever you are, you are snuggled somewhere safe and cozy!

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Posted in The Daily Balance | 1 Comment »

raised garden bed tomatoes

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Somehow in the craziness of my camera not working over the past month, I failed to document the planting of our tomato bed. But fear not! For I am playing catch up and wanted to show you this year’s tomato project.

It all started with trying to figure out what to plant in our back raised garden bed. Last year I had cantalopes and watermelons and green beans in this bed. So this year I thought… tomatoes! And not just any old tomatoes but organic heirloom varieties!

First we had to tackle the monstrosity of weeds in the bed.
weeding the tomato bed

This weeding was accomplished over Memorial Day weekend. Once the weeds were out, I turned all the soil with a pitch fork. Then I added fresh heaping amounts of compost.

Craig and I trekked out to our favorite local farm/garden center and perused their amazing long list of heirloom and organic tomato varieties for sale. It was like a tomato menu, and we wanted to try everything on the list!

Photo courtesy of Lull Farm, Hollis, New Hampshire

We finally settled on a few fun varieties and got to planting.
tomato bed

tomato bed

The front of the bed is a Yellow Pear variety and a Cherry variety. The middle front of the bed are two Tomatillo plants and an heirloom variety called Green Zebra. The middle back of the bed are Romas. And the back of the bed has more heirloom varieties including a Japanese Black Trifele, Pink Lady, and my favorite name… Mortgage Lifter. Apparently the dude who propagated these seeds did so well that he was able to pay off his mortgage. How could I not sow a Mortgage Lifter heirloom tomato plant?

Right away the tomatillos started to flower their cute, bold yellow blooms.
flowering tomatillo

After two weeks of on and off rain in the latter part of June, my tomatoes have gone to town, growing taller and fuller each day. I had to stake the matoes over the weekend. I used bamboo stakes that I had bought last year when I tried in vain to create a homemade trellis for my green beans.
tomato raised garden bed

I cannot wait to see how these plants do! I am hoping for happy, healthy tomatoes and no diseases this year. Wish me luck!

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Posted in The Growing Season | 4 Comments »

memorial day weekend and mixing it up

Sunday, May 29th, 2011

Hello! This is a photo-less post. And I am very sad about it—my camera stopped working today. I have no idea why, but I am not feeling too good about my little camera’s chances. At first I thought the battery was just dead, so I swapped out the battery for a freshie. No luck. Nothing. When I press the On/Off button I get no response. And I’m pretty peeved about the whole thing because this camera is less than 2 years old. That should not happen!

But I am trying not to let this get me down. I will call the manufacturer and see what gives. In the meantime, I cannot show you our first harvest of baby spinach and lettuces from the garden this weekend. I can’t show you the crazy thunder clouds that passed by on Friday. I can’t show you the amazing heirloom tomato starts I bought today.

And most of all, I can’t show you the comical, utter disarray that is our downstairs right now. We are in the process of vacating all the contents of our dining room and living room in preparation to have our hardwood floors refinished next week. We have been talking about this for years and years, pretty much since we first moved in. The bulk of the flooring is in great shape, but the path from the kitchen through the dining room into the living room is really worn and looks icky.

I started calling to get quotes because I do not feel comfortable attempting this project ourselves. After I got some quotes, I found a refinisher who offered us a deal we could not pass up—he had a contractor back out on a job next week, so he has an opening. And he’s giving us a steep discount.

Sign us up!

Perfect timing with the long weekend, so we’ve spent the past two days moving bookcases and tables and figuring out where to stash the loveseat and dining room table and houseplants and chairs and end tables and whatnot. Our house is pretty small, so there’s not a bunch of options for where things can go. However, I think (!?) we have a plan in place. Today we moved the bookcases that are in the living room upstairs to the guest bedroom. The dining room table is going to go out on the screened-in porch covered with a sheet or tarp. The computer and desk are now upstairs in the guest bedroom as well. The TV and TV stand will go at the end of the upstairs hallway.

The couch you ask. The couch? Well, I think this is the kick in the pants we need to finally say goodbye to it. Our couch and chair are hand-me-downs from Craig’s parents. And while they are very comfy, they are decades old—and very, very worn—and pretty much gross at this point. When we got married two years ago, we put aside some wedding money to get a new sofa. But Craig and I could never agree on one.

That was then! This is now! If we toss the ailing, sagging, worn couch, maybe—just maybe—that will force us to recommit to furniture shopping and finding one we love.

I am ever so hopeful.

I would also like to spend a little time rethinking our dining and living room layouts and maybe reconfiguring the spaces. It is almost like we are moving in all over again!

This is kind of fun. The downside is that summer decided to make its appearance quite suddenly and temps have been near 90°F for the past 3 days. It is oh-so-warm in our little abode. But we are making do as we haul furniture around, heave books, clear out the clutter, decide what we no longer need, and get ready to have our floors done.

I am so excited to refinish our red oak floors! I cannot wait! But here is what we are still stuck on… the finish. We are going to go au naturale with just a clear, low-VOC water-based polyurethane. However, do we go with a satin finish? Or semi-gloss? We have to decide by Tuesday. We have a satin finish now. And I like it. But I do wonder what the space would look like with a little more sheen… Decisions, decisions. I don’t want it to look like a bowling alley, but I also wonder how a little gloss might transform the rooms? Our living room gets a ton of light, so I don’t know if semi-gloss would be too reflective? I keep going back and forth.

Have you redone your floors? What finish did you go with? Any suggestions or recommendations? I would love to hear your thoughts.

And I hope you are having a lovely and relaxing Memorial Day weekend!

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Posted in Household Management 101 | 2 Comments »

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