Friday, August 28, 2009

Saturday, August 15, 2009

My friend Rachel Simon describes attending Woodstock as a ten year-old girl...

I really enjoyed hearing Rachel recount her experience at Woodstock.... She thought she was going to an aquarium.

Verrill Farm Tomato and Corn Festival: photos

These are the first two tables.
The third table was under another tent.

Plate number one included a mozzarella-tomato salad and tomato
risotto, zucchini pancakes, and some polenta, as well as all manner
of tomatoes...

This was plate #2, mostly red tomatoes

I couldn't resist these images of bounty...

Happiness is LOTS of tomatoes...

I took a quick trip out to Verrill Farm today. The tomatoes were beautiful, plentiful, and delicious. I had some of my old favorites, like Black Prince, and tasted some new ones, including one that I'm growing but have never had before, the Paul Robeson. A black tomato called Carbon was fantastic - juicy and almost salty-tasting all on its own - and an orange one called Orange Blossom had a nice flavor - a good balance between acidic and sweet with a true tomato flavor. There were some orange cherry tomatoes called Garden Sweet, and a variety called Aunt Ginny Purple that was bright red. (Maybe Aunt Ginny was colorblind?) There were some Ultra Sweets and a cherry variety named Sappho Cherry.

I skipped the corn and went to the sample tent, where I had some really good tomato risotto. I am not normally a fan of risotto because I find it's texture too monotonous, but the fact that this had a strong tomato flavor made it palatable. There were also plates of polenta and some zucchini pancakes. I detest zucchini pancakes but, being the consummate professional food writer, I forced myself to eat one and decided, "Yup! I still hate them!" (What don't I do for you, dear reader?) The tomato-mozzarella salad was good, but truly there is nothing better than straight-up sliced tomatoes.
I do have a caveat for anyone planning to attend tomorrow. BYOS&P: Bring your own salt & pepper. There were a few containers of salt near the corn table, but to use them you had to stand on the corn line. There weren't any salt containers on the condiment table.
I think it's best to bring your own. I have fantasies of a sort of a holster that holds both a salt shaker and pepper grinder, or something sort of like an ammo belt that contains multiple salt and pepper shakers so you can also offer salt and pepper to your friends.
BTW, if you are not a fan of port-a-potties (who is?) there is a Dunkin' Donuts down the road a little bit past the farm. If you bring a hat, sunscreen, and your own salt and pepper, you should be all set and have a great time. Bon Appetit!

Verrill Farm Tomato and Corn Festival

I'm on my way to the Tomato and Corn Festival. Pictures later!

Tomato blight? Or just too much rain and not enough sun?

I checked on my tomatoes a few days ago and was horrified to discover that many of the tomatoes on my "Red Zebra" plant are rotting from the bottom up. From above they looked perfect. If it hadn't been for the fact that I looked at something lying on the soil, I would never have noticed this problem.
I wondered if it was blight, which would necessitate the immediate removal of the plants - you are supposed to wrap them and put them in the garbage rather than compost them in order to limit the spread of the fungus. The leaves all look fine, however. A friend who lives in normally rainy and cool Oregon (where it was 107 degrees recently!) said that she thinks it's just the result of the incredible amount of rain that we had here this year because something similar has happened to her tomato plants in the past.