Taste of Summer in March

Feb tomatoes 2 '09

That, folks, is a picture of tomatoes. Yes, I know: duh.

But wait: I picked them yesterday. (!!) They were growing on the tomato plants I brought indoors in October. (!!!) (Yes, the same aphid-infested items I've written of here.) Save for one tiny (even tinier than these) specimen that I simply ate two days ago (it was delicious), these are the first harvest from last summer’s hail-devastated plants. (!!!!)

I haven’t been counting on tomatoes from these plants, not during the winter, not in this house where they get only a few hours’ sunshine and temperatures swing from forty to the occasional high of seventy. No, these weren’t here for winter harvest, but for the earliest possible jump on the spring season.

If any fruit did ripen, I reminded myself, they might not taste very good, since they’d grown under such inauspicious circumstances. (Every time my hopes start to rise, I put on my stomping boots and jump up and down a few times on the young shoots.)

But when I sliced these, they were redder inside than out, and they tasted sweet, juicy, and oh so rich. I was making a blue-cheese pasta topping; at the last minute, as husband Steve drained the linguini, I dropped the tomatoes into the sauce and gave them a swirl, then did the same with the pasta. Wow.

I’m going to have to re-think my position on indoor tomatoes. Last time I made an official pronouncement on the subject, I was against it. With the taste of last night’s tomatoes still on my tongue, though, I’m not so sure. Ongoing tests will be conducted as more tomatoes ripen. Check back here for the results.

8 Responses to Taste of Summer in March

  1. These tomatos get a lot of points for tenacity.
    They have been through quite a lot what with hail, infestation, pestilence and you spending hours tweaking them but…
    the best thing about a tomato is tasting the warmth of the sun on their skins. Without that they are just a bit dull and might just as well have come from a supermarket.
    However, that does not take the ‘pride of the gardener’ into consideration. That same pride that makes even the saggiest beans and flabbiest zucchini taste like ambrosia.

  2. Hmm I think James just insulted your tomatoes. I think his punishment should be to eat store bought tomatoes only for the next year, but we will leave them on the windowsill to get warm from the sun since we aren’t monsters.

  3. That’s just mean! I was so proud of my baby greens emerging. Ripe tomatoes are almost sinful! (and it’s Lent so you shouldn’t be tempting me now!)

  4. James, were you not listening? They were delicious–much better than anything I’ve eaten in months and months! As for the idea that my sentiment, my attachment to these fruits distorted my judgement, well! It should be clear to everyone that I am totally rational, and never, but never, at the mercy of my feelings.
    I think so too, Daphne. And I like the punishment you’ve devised. But before he starts on his year-long store-bought tomato regime, I say he has to have a couple of my tomatoes, so he knows what he’s missing.
    Sorry, Alan. Where have you got greens? I’m just about to plant some in the greenhouse, but everything else is still covered with snow.
    –Kate

  5. Your article on the compost screen was great.I think we all have our own way of composting, but sifting the compost is the challenge! The information on the two tier sifter is a great idea. It is worth taking a look at it.Thanks.

  6. You’re making more curious now. I’d love to have a taste of those indoor tomatoes too. I’ll be waiting for the results then! Hope it will be a success.

  7. Beautiful looking tomatoes! Growing tomatoes indoors is a great way to get a jump on Spring. They become a point of interest and a talking point for visitors. The fact that they produced early fruit was a bonus.
    Congratulations Kate.

  8. Thanks, Gloria. A simple sifter is all I use, but some of those were fun to look at!
    Well, I proved unable to resist temptation Eunice; I’ve brought tomato plants in every year since.
    Thanks, Pops.
    –Kate

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