Tag Archives: tomatoes

Did You Enjoy Olympic Gymnastics?

Yeah, this little pitiful harvest is my tomato crop. There are still tomatoes out there and I might get another handful but this is the best my garden could do. I’m going to need to rethink the garden next year.

Everybody loves gymnastics during the Olympics and then forgets about it until next time.

I am here to make a pitch for NCAA gymnastics. You probably get at least some coverage if you have a decent cable package. My coverage has varied over the years but for the most part I can get SEC and every single team is really good. I also get Pac12 which also has many good teams but for some reason last year Pac12 divided into a bunch of little Pac12 stations which means for TV I generally only get the Oregon State meet.

Not to worry, you can catch a lot of stuff online but in that case you have to watch live and I am not always able to drop everything and watch gymnastics on a Friday afternoon. Or in the case of some of the Pac12 meets, Monday night. I’ve never had any luck getting Big 10. Maybe your cable has it.

NCAA is a different beast from elite (Olympics) and Balance Beam Situation does a good job of explaining why. Here’s my explanation: NCAA is all about the team. They’ll let you individual high scores but the real competition is the team.

NCAA still uses the 10 point scoring system. The routines are shorter and more precise which leads to really tight scoring. Every toe point and landing is critical. In elite the score is divided between difficulty and execution so Simone can have a major mistake and still win a medal.

The other thing fun about NCAA is there is more artistry and originality. And there are so many really great gymnasts. Mark your calendar. The season starts in January.

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The Tomato of Disappointment

I was so excited to spot this little guy. And then crushed with disappointment.

Bob: Are you still going to eat it?

Me: Of course.

(I have more vacation stuff. Stay tuned.)

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The Tomato Report

Now that the PACNW has been transformed into a new blistering hot paradise, you’d think I would finally have an amazing tomato crop.

But no. I do not. Although that’s mostly my fault since I had illnesses and then back troubles and then had the project of August. Gardening slipped to a super low priority.

The plant above was purchased at the grocery store. It may not be clear but it is only about 18 inches high. It hasn’t grown even a tiny bit. I planted them right when we had that 10 day streak of 90+ temperatures and my plants freaked out.

I bet that single tomato is all I get.

The above is the second plant I got at the grocery store. This one produced a surprise red tomato that I happily picked and then noticed it was completely rotten on the bottom. I thought the grocery store ones were bred so that any doofus with some dirt in her yard could successfully grow tomatoes.

I am either mistaken or worse than a doofus.

This is a volunteer. Sprouted up of its own free will. It has produced two so far and you can see two more on there.

Colleague is going to Hawaii tomorrow. He said he was yanking his plants and composting everything. I said, bring me what you have.

That is 11 pounds of tomatoes. He was going to compost 11 pounds of tomatoes.

I showed those to a lady in the elevator on the way home and she was jealous. I was afraid she might knock me down and steal them for herself.

Tomato processing this weekend.

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This is the Garden Before Shot

I accidentally typo’d the title as This is the Garden Before Shit. hehe. That could mean anything. Maybe I would bring in manure this weekend.

Except I’m not. I already threw a bunch of seeds out there in my free-styling gardening way. I don’t even have a plan this year. Just the usual: beets, turnips, greens. Tomatoes will come later. I saved some tomato seeds from last year. I should have taken a photo. They were smeared on a piece of paper towel so it looked like trash. I planted a bunch in pots on the windowsill.

I think I’ll plant a zucchini this year. I’ll see if anything else sounds exciting.

I should have made some arrows. That middle section is all new. On the left there was more of that white flowery plant heavily infested with some sort of annoying invasive grass. There was no way to get rid of the grass without digging out white flowery plant. I thought about planting a rosemary there but not sure I want a bushy thing in that location. On the right was another herb, thyme? It got all woody and pitiful looking and spread out everywhere so I whacked it back. Maybe I would like rosemary there.

Remember the dahlia bulb dividing project? I gave some away. I let some shrivel into death on the shop floor. I planted a bunch everywhere. I’ve never had success out front but there’s a major sprout going right now. It’s located in heavy snail territory so we’ll see how we do. But I’m hopeful.

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Storms Are Coming

We’ve had a record breaking dry streak. It’s hard to complain about no rain when 3 months ago I was weeping and beating my head against the concrete because it wouldn’t stop. Now that everything is all dried out I’m not heartbroken to hear the rains are coming back.

The weatherman says we’re in for a series of storms starting on Friday. I’m getting home late tomorrow and Thursday so tonight the minute I got home I dropped everything and put on my work clothes and ran outside. It’s amazing what you can get done quickly when you’re motivated.

I yanked a bunch of dead stuff out front to make room for the 150 bulbs project. Then I brought in all the tomatoes and ripped the plants out and yanked most of the sunflowers. The cucumbers are still out there, although they look dead. The garden is finished. I think there are carrots but that’s about it. Well, apples. When I tore out one of the sunflowers I thought I found another suntater and I was pretty excited but it turned out to be a rock.

The real purpose of this post is to tell you about Roasted Pepper Vinaigrette. That’s it in the squeeze bottle posing with the tomatoes I just brought in. I’ve had this recipe forever. I don’t recall the origins. I made a note that “goes good with lots of things” so must have been part of an article. I finally made it on Sunday and it is amazing. We’ve had it on corn and salad. I think it would taste great on just about any vegetable and also, a swirl on a piece of cheese would be good. Probably good on pasta. It’s way more delicious that this recipe would suggest.

1 roasted red pepper or drain it from a jar (that’s what I did, thank you Trader Joe’s)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 T red wine vinegar
1 T chopped shallot (I never measure stuff like that. I used half a big one.)
1/2 t. salt
fresh ground black pepper

Whirl it all in the blender until smooth. Add more vinegar, salt and/or pepper if you think it needs it. Put in a squeeze bottle because you feel all fancy squeezing it on stuff.

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Check It Out Now!

Look! I have tomatoes. All this many.

And there are at least that many more that are almost ready for picking.

Bob said, “Wow, those came on fast.”

I said, “It’s September 100th.”

For contrast here’s my kitchen on September 6 last year.

Did I ever write about my jeans shopping day? My favorite jeans are one year away from disintegrating and for my replacement jeans I accidentally bought saggy Mom jeans. I decided I was going to go out and find some fancy jeans that would make me look like a stylin’ lady.

I tried on at least 30 pairs, all different brands and styles.

Not one pair fit. Not even close. They were all tight in the butt and/or thighs and gaping at the waist. I finally gave up and figured I’d try again another time.

A couple weeks ago I said screw stylin’ and went to Eddie Bauer. I knew which size I needed but of course they’ve changed their sizing scheme.

All these stores have a complicated scheme of pants styles.

There’s another store I shop at and they now have 4 styles. It’s like: the Metropolitan- slim at the waist and thigh, firm through the hips; the Sassy – slender at the thigh, low at the waist and full through the hips; the Henrietta – higher in the waist than the Sassy but lower than the Metropolitan, straight through the hips; and the Flirty – slim at the waist, firm at the thigh and relaxed through the hips.

I wanted to send them a message that said: Fire your translator. Nobody knows what that means.

At Eddie Bauer I tried on the Sassy, the Curvy, the Rainier and the Bainbridge. And then I had to pick from classic blue, Puget blue, faded, ultra-faded and the ranchero fade. Not to mention skinny, boyfriend, bootcut, slender cut, relaxed cut, beefy cut and astronaut cut. Of course they didn’t have what I needed in the store but I could order it from a phone in the store to get free shipping, plus a coupon for trying on 15 pairs of pants plus a buy one get one for 50% deal.

They finally arrived. I love my new jeans.

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Three Tidbits

This was one of the first promising looking early pumpkins that then withered without explanation.

A couple of weeks ago a guy called the office. I answer the phone with the name of the business. He said, “Yeah? I had a missed call from this number.”

Me: Okay.

What is he expecting me to do with this information? I don’t know who he is. Sure, it’s only a 2 person office, but it doesn’t really feel like my problem to solve.

Him: (on the verge of dying of annoyance) What is this again?

I repeat the name of the business.

Him: (Derisive snort) Well?

I asked if he had business with us. Co-worker overheard me and called, “I dialed a wrong number earlier.” I tell greatly inconvenienced lunkhead this.

Him: (Another derisive snort and then hang up.)

I’ve already have the answer but do people really do that? If I see a missed call from a number I don’t recognize it would never occur to me to call it. If someone wants me, they’ll try again. I wish we’d kept his number because I would call it from a different phone every day and hang up.

One dinky Cinderella pumpkin. Barely worth the trouble to process it.

We got a notice from our bank inviting us to refinance. They’re getting itchy because our house is almost paid for. The profit margin on us is dwindling. They used to do this to me in person, too, but I asked them to put a note on my account not to try to sell me stuff when I go in. They still do sometimes.

This one was funny because it has a graph with what our payments would be if we refinance for 30 and 15 years and then how much we’d save on interest. Those boxes were blank with an asterisk that said, we wouldn’t actually save any money on interest.

Nice try!

This is the new variety Baby Pam, which doesn’t seem to want to turn orange. I’m so sad about my pumpkin crop. A friend brought me some Cinderella pumpkins he grew from seeds I gave him. I’m going to pick them up after lunch.

This past weekend I had the time so I put the garden (mostly) to bed.

One reason I was putting it off is the birds have been loving the sunflowers. Every morning on the weekends I would see all kinds of activity out there. We had several days of cold rain and the sunflowers looked like refugees from a Tim Burton movie.

The cucumbers which have sent out all kinds of vines and nothing else finally started producing about 2 weeks ago. I’ve eaten two and put 4 in the fridge. Gee, thanks for nothing. I took out two of the tomatoes and optimistically left two in in case they want to keep going.

I dug up everything else and I now have about two pounds of beets in the fridge. We’re going to have something beety this weekend.

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Tomato Report

I don’t have so many tomatoes that I want to cry, but I’m getting there.

Remember, that was the goal.

The German Lunchbox are small. They’re like Roma shaped cherry tomatoes that are a pinkish color. The Roma are also small. I think I was over-watering because I’ve backed off and they are going gangbusters.

The Early Girl are also on the small side, but perfectly round and pretty.

The one that I grew from a seed and then knocked all the leaves off when I planted is producing big giant tomatoes. I like that one. There’s a gigantic one out there now. I’m going to pick it tomorrow.

I’ve been eating about a half pound a day but I need to make something with them. Probably soup because that transforms a huge amount of tomatoes into a few ziplock bags of soup I can have in the winter.

This is a typical haul. I picked the green one by accident. I try to pick every other day.

The cucumbers are making big leafy vines but producing zippo. The pumpkin patch is sadder than sad. The beets have been doing great. I yanked one of the sunflowers because it was getting in my way and turns out the birds and squirrels missed it because it is loaded with seeds so I brought it into the shop. I need to figure out the best way to de-seed it.

Maybe ehow has a completely worthless article I can consult.

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Did You Hear That Screaming?

This is the plant that I grew from a seed I saved last year and knocked all the leaves off when I planted it.

Not now. It was last night.

I’m setting this to post after I hit the road on Friday.

This is the Early Girl.

I was doing a major watering so my sweetie doesn’t have to worry about it while I’m gone. I was crawling around because tomatoes like to be watered from the bottom and some pink caught my eye.

This is the German Lunchbox. And you know what? I had lunch at the German Deli today. Babe the pig added for perspective.

Then I took a closer look at all my tomatoes. The ripe ones are in the very middle and tough to spot. The same thing happened last year.

Yeah, home grown tomatoes. Stay tuned for me bitching and moaning about how I have too many tomatoes.

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