8.11.2015

THE OVERGROWTH, AND ALSO, PUTTANESCA // elspeth


I sat down to come here, to tell you about the overgrowth of tomatoes and the much needed rain and to describe the way Nora smashes the cherry tomatoes in half and then stuffs them against her two lone teeth. But then I started reading about motherhood in Kenya and why our future depends on libraries and frankly I was in such a deep state of relaxation that I got distracted and am almost out of time. 

So I will say it quickly: tomatoes. They're here, in full force. We planted six plants, all courtesy of my friend and Tomato Graft-Master Joe, and they're doing quite well. But the real miracle is the sixty odd volunteers, the ones who grew from the compost we spread somewhat accidentally when we moved the pile this spring. A bobcat came over, to move the shed from the middle of our lawn to the back edge, and in the process it became clear that the compost pile needed to move too. And so the bobcat moved that, and a lot spilled out, and the move must have happened on the exact right day of the year, because a few weeks later we noticed that there was a forest of tomato and squash and corn plants springing up from the area where it had been. Being lazy gardeners and overwhelmed parents, we decided to see what would happen, and so far what has happened has been nothing short of wonderful. To date we have harvested three perfect pumpkins, one red kabucha squash, and ten or fifteen pounds of tomatoes. There are two ears of corn on the way, dozens more pounds of tomatoes, and several tromboncino type squashes. I am never planting the traditional way again.



In the meantime, I have to keep up with the harvest. Nora takes care of the cherry tomatoes pretty handily, with help from Sally, but for the big ones I'm thinking puttanesca. Apparently, we're all doing it wrong, but I aim to do it right, with L.V. Anderson's recipe as a guide. Alex has some bluefish we caught and froze the other day that he wants to cook up, and he promised that if I make the sauce, he'll come home tonight, add the fish, and simmer it off. With any luck by the time I finish dinner service and get home from the restaurant the pasta will be boiled, the sauce will be hot, and we will sit down to our first slow-cooked meal in a while. I'll let you know.

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