Friday, September 19, 2008

I Say Tomato...You Say Tomatoe

Bente is back. She's been gone for a month, in Denmark, attending her oldest brother's 50th wedding anniversary, which was celebrated in a castle. If she'll let me, I'll put up a few photo's and a description of the castle and grounds in another blog post. It has been very quiet without her here.

She came for a visit yesterday afternoon, having only arrived home the night before from Seattle, where her plane landed. We caught up on the last month, then went out to check my garden. I picked her some Tumbling Tom's, a few Brown Berries and on small Yellow Mortgage Lifter tomato for her dinner. I had been saving them for her to come home to. It's great to have her home.

Today is also grocery shopping day and I had a lot of ground to cover. As usual, I started with the Dollar Giant to get my "cheep goods" - large plastic containers for cereal etc; disposable plastic gloves for mixing up dog food; dark colored hand towels, because the white ones I was foolish enough to buy before turned gray and stained really fast from Richard using them to wipe greasy hands on; boxes of freezer bags; you get the idea. Then off to Walmart where I found...! They are clearing out rectangular plastic plant pots for $1.00 each, the ones you can hang on your balcony or affix under the window, the ones I have outside the patio door on the ground for the deer to feed off the pansies, marigolds and geraniums...yeah, those ones. Of course I bought 10 of them, and had to restrain myself to that. I REALLY wanted to buy them all, for a $1.00 each, but didn't. Then walking back up the aisle, I found hummingbird feeders on clearance for $2.00 each so bought two of them. I enjoy feeding the little darlings in the summer.

Oh and there, in the cheese cooler, look at that...Armstrong cheese is on for a GREAT price, $3.98 each for 600gm block, regular $7.98. WOW! I grab 4 of them, walk away and then realize I really don't need that much cheese so put 2 of them back. Sigh, but it wasn't easy putting two of them back, I mean, well, gee, it IS a bargain, and you know I LOVE a bargain. Off to Extra Foods next to pick up the few things I will need there today. Then home to haul it all in and put it all away.

Tomorrow I will be going to Alberni Health Market, another of my favorite stores. Yesterday my friend Vicki, she of the ailing laptop that I finally got fixed for her, brought me her Kitchenaid Grain Mill attachment for my Kitchenaid Stand Mixer. She got it from friends in Seattle and has used it herself. I cannot wait to try it and grind my own grain for flour. Alberni Health Market carries Wheat, Barley, Rye, Spelt in bulk bins, so I will get a bit of each, grind it and then make some bread from it. There are several adjustments you can make on it to get a coarser or finer grind.

Kelly suggested going to a local bakery and asking them if they use fresh yeast. He says if I once try it, I will have a hard time going back to dry yeast in my bread. Kelly is a baker at Sobey's in Leduc, and they have people come in and buy it from them all the time. Tomorrow, on my way to the Health Market, I am going to stop at a couple of bakeries nearby to see if they use it and if they will sell me some. Just think, fresh ground flour, baked up into bread, using fresh yeast. What more can I ask for?

While showing Bente the garden yesterday, I noticed that two of my Bull's Heart tomatoes, as well as one large Black Prince, were nearly ripe, but decided to leave them another day to see how much more they could ripen on the vine. Today I decided to pick them and let them finish ripening indoors. Tomatoes need heat to ripen, and ours has vanished all of a sudden. Our temperatures have gone down to the high teens during the day...I find it chilly, even though I know it isn't.

The Bull's Heart tomatoes, you will see in the photo, are what is called a pink tomato, and they are heart shaped. This tomatoes, under optimum conditions, can weigh as much as 3 pounds! Mine weighed in at 5.4 ounces and 8 ounces respectively and the Black Prince is 8 ounces. Not bad for growing in a boat.

I have to tell you, once you try these tomatoes - these HERITAGE tomatoes - you will be hard pressed to go back to eating store bought ones. The flavor is incredible. I find myself having a salad every night for dinner with either Black Prince or Yellow Mortgage Lifter tomates in it. Damn, they are good!

I am still considering taking cuttings from these plants and keeping them over winter in the house. Richard just rolls his eyes and shakes his head and asks where I think I am going to keep all these plants. Well, there's the dogs room in the back, and I suppose my bathroom/laundry room could hold a couple and then there is the livingroom, I can put some in there, oh and the deck, I'll over winter some there, like I did last year. And the back porch, kept quite a few there, um, hmmmmm...

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