Late-Night Open Thread (Don’t Look, John!)

Picked a big popcorn bowl full of ripe tomatoes from our two dozen plants, first real bounty of the summer, and only a month behind the usual ETA.

Pleasant surprise of the season, so far, is the Black Pear, replacement for the Black Prince plant I couldn’t find even through the Dave’s Garden website.  It’s one of the ugliest useful plants I’ve ever seen — looks like somebody was trying to breed organic Truck Nutz, creepy potato-leafed vines crowded with clusters of twin & triplet fist-sized, sac-shaped fruit ripening to an angry, transluscent maroon-purple with lime green highlights.  But the flesh is succulent and delicious, not too tart, not too sweet, with rich flavor undertones.  They’re so delicious fresh, on burgers or rye bread, that I haven’t tried slow-roasting yet, but that may change tomorrow.

Second best for us, so far, has been the Juliet  ‘salad tomato’, which I remember from last year as prolific but not extraordinarily tasty.  This year, a rainy overcast June and July encouraged lush foliage but kept even my “emergency backup” plants — one Early Girl, a Roma, a Sweet Million cherry tomato — from setting fruit.  Only the Juliet and the Sun Gold, an orange (low-acid) cherry type, have been producing since the second week of July, when the Ripeness Rush usually starts around here.  And the Sun Golds just have not been up to most year’s standards, but the Juliets are sweet & flavorful.  Only problem is that they’re a little thick-skinned for my tastes, but after the last few weeks they have moved up next year’s shopping list from “dependable, not striking” to “must find.”

On the other side of the ledger, my basil plants — one Genovese, on small-leaf globe — have gone to flower, overnight, without ever reaching a decent size.  Fortunately, my taste buds aren’t so refined that I can’t make do with supermarket or even frozen basil cubes…

How’s everybody doing at the end of another hot,  sticky weekend?






69 replies
  1. 1
    gwangung says:

    MUCH better after reading this thread title.

  2. 2
    cleek says:

    one of our cats has started pissing out the front of the (covered) litter box.

    so, great. just great.

  3. 3
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    Am about a third of the way thru a foreign flick (mostly in english though) called The Children of Huang Shi.

    It is set in China during WW2 and is a true story of a reporter who gets tricked into caring for a bunch of orphan boys and so far is quite good. Also has Rhada Mitchell in it who is teh hot and a very good actress, see Pitch Black

  4. 4
    JHF says:

    How’s everybody doing at the end of another hot, sticky weekend?

    Fine, because there hasn’t been a single “hot, sticky weekend” for me since ’99, when we moved to northern New Mexico. :-) The temperature at 3:00 p.m. at our rented adobe just south of Taos was 75 degrees in the shade, and 67 at my desk inside with all the doors and windows open. Humidity around 15 percent.

    (In another month or so it’ll probably snow, and then it’s winter until June, but never mind…)

    I don’t know where you’re writing from, but we used to live on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. After any sort of exertion in August weather, it felt like I was covered with molten wax. That doesn’t happen here, but it was a helluva lot easier to grow tomatos in that climate!

  5. 5
    Corner Stone says:

    @JHF: May you burn in the fires of a thousand suns!
    Oh wait, that’s my fate as a Houstonian in the middle of another ugly damn August.

  6. 6
    Corner Stone says:

    I tried the topsy turvy growing option and it didn’t turn out too well this season. Too much sun and not enough rain. Which was very unusual for this part of TX. We went about 60 days with only a trace of rainfall here. Not sure what it means but it was unheard of.
    Thank goodness for the pool.

  7. 7
    burnspbesq says:

    Which Dirty Harry movie was it that gave us the great line, “A man’s gotta know his limitations?” Well, I forgot mine today. I really, really should have known better than to try and install a new phono cartridge myself. Now I am without a working turntable, and the cartridge I bought has been revealed to be way too light for my tonearm. Ugh.

  8. 8
    JK says:

    @Corner Stone:

    New York has had too much rain. Would love to be able to ship some of it to ya.

  9. 9
    Anne Laurie says:

    @cleek:

    one of our cats has started pissing out the front of the (covered) litter box.

    Gotta be one ‘humorist’ in every family! Is there room enough to install a splash guard, like a piece of plastic anchored to a boot tray or one of those astroturf mats pet stores sell to catch kitty litter?

  10. 10
    Anne Laurie says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Now I am without a working turntable, and the cartridge I bought has been revealed to be way too light for my tonearm. Ugh.

    I’m so old, I can remember when the “fix” for that problem was balancing a dime on top of the cartridge. (I can hear the screams of anguished audiophiles already… or I would, if my age-53 ears could still pick up those high tones… )

  11. 11
    Corner Stone says:

    @burnspbesq: You’re scaring the absolute piss outta me. “Phono cartridge”?
    Are you sure H.G. isn’t looking for you somewhere in Old London Town?

  12. 12

    Annie, I think we might need pictures of that ugly plant and fruit. I guess I could google it, but what fun would that be?

    @cleek: Peroxide first, then vinegar for clean-up, if that helps.

    Meanwhile, one cat is trying to pack himself into my tote bag, the other in my suitcase. They don’t like it when I travel. Hate to think what I’m going to come home to. Think happy thoughts, think happy thoughts.

  13. 13

    It’s not hot and sticky along the Pacific Coast. When I was a kid on the Jersey Shore we used to grow tomatoes every summer, and as a kid I used to work on a truck farm picking tomatoes. Nothing like a fresh tomato right off the vine.

    Can’t grow tomatoes here. Too much fog and the temperature rarely gets over 70. But the coastal fog pretty much prevents summer wildfires around here.

  14. 14
    Tom Betz says:

    Tomato Growers Supply says it has the Black Prince, FWIW.

    http://www.tomatogrowers.com/black.htm

    The farmers market up here Saturday had a bunch of Japanese Black tomatoes that were just delicious, and really dark, dark purple. You might like to give them a try next year.

  15. 15

    @Corner Stone: Vinyl is the new thing, doncha know? All the hip kids are spinning it (I kid you not).

  16. 16
    Calming Influence says:

    I collected my 7th gallon of blackberries today, almost halfway to my goal of 15 gallons for a batch of blackberry wine. My fingernails look like I’ve been rebuilding tractor engines most of my life, and my forearms look like I wrestle cougars for a living.

  17. 17

    @Tom Betz: Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit*, I’ve never seen a black tomato before. Never even heard of them before.

    Black Pear, Black Prince, et al. look interesting, must try next year.

    *sorry I’ve been dying to use that phrase somewhere…and I’m obviously over-tired and shouldn’t be around a keyboard. Nite all.

  18. 18

    Ladies and germs, here is a Turntable.

    It’s a 37-year-old Pioneer and has been replaced by an Audio Technica $80 job just so I can play the 300 albums I’ve got. With a laptop I could use it to create mp3 files from all of ’em, but I don’t have such a critter. Besides, as it turns out, there’s an awful lot of scratching and hiss on that old vinyl.

    The belt drive rotted in place around the platter and I’ve tried about five different things including Goo-Gone and steel wool, but I can’t get enough residue off to make it usable. I even have a replacement belt and cartridge, but unless the platter is clean they’re useless.

  19. 19
  20. 20
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Tom Betz:

    Tomato Growers Supply says it has the Black Prince, FWIW.

    Seeds, not plants. I realize Real Gardeners Grow Their Own, but (a) I’m lazy and (b) our house has exactly two sunny windowsills and three cats. Even knowing my own limitations, I *did* buy a packet of Black Prince seeds, and then forgot about it until mid-May. So I threw the seeds into a pot next to the other tomatoes. The seedlings are only a few inches tall, but there have been some years here (just north of Boston) when we continued harvesting tomatoes until well after Columbus Day, so what the heck. It’s a weird summer here anyway — up till the last fortnight it was more like Seattle, high 70s and overcast, first year I haven’t had to water every day starting mid-June. If the decreasing day length doesn’t completely screw with my homegrown Princes (and I’m hoping their Russian heritage helps) maybe we get a few late fruit. And if they don’t fruit, well, the seeds were cheap.

  21. 21
    Corner Stone says:

    @Bad Horse’s Filly: I think you mean “hep cats”, right?
    I’m down with the lingo!
    FSM protect us from a bunch of deluded audiophiles.

  22. 22
    Calming Influence says:

    @Bad Horse’s Filly: Thanks ;- It will be awesome.

  23. 23
    Yutsano says:

    This mater thread is reminding me that my brother is going to attempt Cincinnati chili next week or so, and the recipe requires fresh tomatoes (at least the one I found). Does anyone have any experiences with this dish? From what I saw the ingredient list sounds intriguing.

  24. 24
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Bad Horse’s Filly:

    I think we might need pictures of that ugly plant and fruit. I guess I could google it, but what fun would that be?

    Well, since I’m techno-challenged, you’ll have to settle for the “sales floor” photo on Tom Betz’ link. They are rather disturbing-looking in person, even by heirloom standards — the first time I picked one, my Spousal Unit asked if I was sure it wasn’t the victim of some rare fungal disease! But the flavor complexity really does make up for their looks, and the fact that they’re not the best producers. Last year our BP withered & died completely as soon as it got really hot & humid (mid-August), which is why I figured starting seeds in May and hoping for fruit in September was worth trying. (We don’t have sunlit growing space for more than 2 dozen plants, so I’m inordinately fussy about choosing just the right ones.)

  25. 25
    Mark S. says:

    @Yutsano:

    My girlfriend and I make it all the time! This is the recipe we use (it uses canned tomatoes, but I’m sure you could use fresh). Makes a ton; great for leftovers.

  26. 26
    burnspbesq says:

    @Corner Stone:

    OK, be that way if you must, but on modern equipment vinyl sounds better than even SACD – and the differences are not subtle. I didn’t want it to be true, but it is.

  27. 27
    anie says:

    Here in the lovely Willamette valley the weather is delightful and I spent the weekend at the county fair working the food preservation booth and canning displays. And for some reason, I am not sure as I am quite a novice gardener, I have been spared the dreaded blossom end rot on my tomatoes that seems to be plaguing gardeners in this area. Tomorrow I am canning green beans to stock my shelves. There’s something beautiful about shelves of home canned food.

  28. 28
    burnspbesq says:

    @Linkmeister:

    There are services that will rip your old vinyl for you. I looked into it, and the break-even point between the cost of sending your records to such a service and buying a new, entry-level turntable (a Pro-Ject Debut III or a Rega P1) and phonostage was at about 90 albums. Since I have around 1,100, buying a turntable was a no-brainer.

  29. 29
    Yutsano says:

    @Mark S.: Grazie mille! The recipe I found calls for both fresh and canned, but it seems the key is the spice combo. That and the chocolate, and I’m a HUGE chocoholic! We might just end up trying both and seeing what works better or hybridizing. I’ll definitely be forthcoming with the results.

  30. 30
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Calming Influence: They do make steel mesh safety gauntlets, which is what it would take to get me near those bushes. But I realize they probably lack the sensitivity to pick the berries without squashing them.

  31. 31
    Anne Laurie says:

    @anie:

    I have been spared the dreaded blossom end rot on my tomatoes that seems to be plaguing gardeners in this area.

    Perhaps you have just been a more conscientious waterer than your neighbors? Blossom end rot is a calcium deficiency, but quite often the cause is that a vine which is ‘dehydrated’ can’t draw the calcium its fruits need from the soil. I found this out last year, when we went on vacation during the only week that it didn’t rain once, and our new expensive “self-watering” planter reservoirs ran dry.

    Tomatoes suck up so much water so fast that it’s easy for the vines to dry out on a hot day even when it rained the night before. Then (if you’re like me) you freak out and water them till they’re standing in puddles, and the thirsty fruit suck it up so fast they split (which is what usually happens to me). Fortunately, neither blossom-end-rot nor splits are ‘toxic’, so I just cut off the spoilt bits before the Spousal Unit freaks out eating.

  32. 32
    monkeyboy says:

    Anne Laurie:

    my basil plants—one Genovese, on small-leaf globe—have gone to flower, overnight, without ever reaching a decent size.

    My basil plants have been trying to bolt all season. I’ve had to tip them 4 or 5 times so far and they have gotten somewhat bushy.

    My usual process for “harvesting all the growing tips” is to select a branch and cut it off above its first leaf node. Usually this clipped branch will have 2 or 3 nodes with leaves. This year I’ve mainly gotten only the top leaf node (sometimes 2 nodes) and the cutting can be difficult because the stem might have grown only 1/4″ above the lower node.

    The last harvest of about 10 days ago made about 1 cup of pesto. I noticed today that the plants need another haircut because the tips are again turning white with flowers.

  33. 33
    Darkrose says:

    Wasn’t too sticky here today, but then again, anything over 15% humidity is OMGSOHUMID in Sacramento.

    And dammit, I want some fresh tomatoes now. One reason to buy a house over a condo.

  34. 34
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    @Linkmeister: I assume you’ve tried nail polish remover (aka acetone) to get rid of the gunk.

    96 degrees here today, which might not seem too unusual except that this is usually the coldest part of winter.

    Global warming here we come.

    Now if only it would rain.

  35. 35
    Comrade Mary says:

    @Anne Laurie: A single dime on the cartridge? Piker!

    My first turntable was a $7 special my Mum got from a church jumble sale. I got it for Christmas of 1977, along with taking Tiger Mountain, My Aim Is True, Stiffs Live, and a few other goodies. I usually had to tape anywhere from 5 to 15 cents — in nickels — to make the thing track.

  36. 36
    WereBear says:

    @cleek: I feel for ya.

    one of our cats has started pissing out the front of the (covered) litter box

    Can you hang a quarter by a string over the entrance? This can “bump” their behind and remind them they need to move further in and turn around. They think the business end is in the litter box…

    The “heat” finally broke. It’s nothing compared to Florida, but after ten years in the ADK MTNs of NY, my heat tolerance, never great, has reached a new low.

  37. 37
    hidflect says:

    I’ve read some people are growing their veggies in plots walled with cyanide treated (green coloured) logs. Ouch!

    …and yes, that IS English English, damn you all to hell!

  38. 38
    harlana pepper says:

    @cleek: Ah jeez, I feel for you. Mine do little tootsie rolls outside the box about every other day, even if box is clean, but piss is a whooole different story.

  39. 39
    harlana pepper says:

    Whatever happened to Church Lady?

  40. 40
    Svensker says:

    @Bad Horse’s Filly:

    Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit*

    I love that.

    Garden in NJ is very stinky this year. Just got first batch of tomatoes, beans — we’re usually up to our buttered butts in veggies at this point. But too cool and wet for much of anything we planted to grow. The okra, which last year swamped us with beautiful pods, has just set its first fruits. Now, of course, the weather has switched over to hot and sticky, and the tomatoes that have managed to set are getting rot. Pooey.

  41. 41
    A.Political says:

    @cleek:

    Had the same problem a few years ago…bought the biggest damn litter-box I could find…solved the problem.

  42. 42
    Ash Can says:

    In other news, someone posted a bit of scuttlebutt on the GOS, saying that Feingold and Dick Durbin are working on changes in FISA and the Patriot Act. Something about them getting tired of waiting for the admin to do it themselves.

    This makes me think of something I read recently, and I’m pretty sure it was here. Someone was theorizing/reporting that Obama, being the constitutional scholar he is, is taking the long-range view of returning some balance to the three branches by getting the legislature — marginalized under the Bush admin — to work harder and assume more responsibility. If Feingold and Durbin are in fact saying, “screw it, we’ll do it ourselves,” this would fit right in. (And I wouldn’t be surprised if there had at some point been some exchange between Durbin and his erstwhile Senate partner encouraging him to take this initiative. “Now make me do it,” indeed.)

  43. 43
    Ash Can says:

    And more happy shiny stuff via the GOS: The Washington Post is reporting this morning that Barack Obama has set up a new terrorism-suspect interrogation team, one that will be confined to the strictures of the Army Field Manual and will report directly to the White House rather than the CIA.

    Shit’s getting done.

  44. 44
    harlana pepper says:

    Watched “Hoarders” on A&E for first time. Scary stuff, tormented souls. Terrible thing to say, I know, but that and “Intervention” make me feel better about my life.

  45. 45
    harlana pepper says:

    The happiest, shiniest thing I can think of is for Barack to take a very large baseball bat with “public option” written on it and whang the living shit out of Chuck Grassley and all the Grassleys in the Senate and also beat every ounce of resistaence out of Blue Dog Senators. I don’t need to worry about the House since I think Pelosi already has a two-by-four hidden under her desk.

  46. 46
    WereBear says:

    @harlana pepper: Like “Hoarders?” Then this link is for you: The Collyer Brothers

    The saddest ones, of course, are the animal hoarders.

  47. 47
    The Saff says:

    Our tomato plants are great this year. My neighbor told me to feed all the plants about every two weeks. Don’t know if that helped, but our cherry tomatoes are fabulous and we’re getting the big ones to ripen. We had tomato salad last night for dinner.

    We got a purple basil plant that is growing like crazy. The first green basil plant died early on so we got a replacement that seems to be doing OK. Homemade pesto is the bestest!

    In Michigan, we had a rainy spring, dry July, and mixed August. It was fall-like this weekend, cool and overcast with a few showers. Can’t believe it’s the latter part of August. Because of work issues, we’re taking our normal August vacation in September, which includes a few days in DC just after Congress gets back in session.

  48. 48
    harlana pepper says:

    @WereBear: Wow, interesting stuff. Animal hoarding is indeed sad, good intentions, disastrous results.

  49. 49
    The Saff says:

    @harlana pepper: Oh, if only. This entire health care reform thing has made me crazy because of all the lies and misinformation out there. And I’m so frustrated with Obama still playing the bipartisan card. I know he’s way smarter than me but it’s driving me insane that he still thinks Grassley is negotiating in good faith. Olbermann keeps making references to Charlie Brown, Lucy, and the football, which is spot on as far as I can see.

    I swear the only thing that’s sustaining me throughout this summer are the threads here on Balloon Juice.

  50. 50
    Fleem says:

    @cleek:

    We have a cat who is convinced the sofa is a litter box, or, more accurately, that the litterbox is strictly optional and anything fabric-covered or box-shaped is fair game. This has been happening on and off since he was a kitten. He’s almost twelve now. Any minor stress and he gets all wee-wee’d up.

    I would’ve booted this cat a long time ago but my husband is horrified by that idea. Other than the pissing and shitting problem, he’s a great cat — catches assorted critters much better than the well-behaved other cat, and has a very regal bearing.

    At this point we’ve given up trying to convince him otherwise, and the sofa is covered in a crib liner whenever we’re not in the room. Not ideal.

  51. 51

    I’m jealous you can grow tomatoes at all. I love tomatoes in a way that borders on the perverted. Seriously.

    So anyway, last night I whipped up a Puttanesca sauce, which I guess I should consider the Italian version of a grog bowl. So I sauteed some red bell pepper and onion onion, then dumped in some course ground tomatoes. Dumped in some anchovy paste, some capers (with some of the juice), some kalamata olives (with some of their juice), red wine, and some fresh herbs… It was freakin’ delicious. My husband doesn’t even LIKE olives, and he likes this sauce. (It helps that I chop them up pretty small.)

    Oh, and my new favorite way to make garlic bread is to grill it on the stove top with a little olive oil on it. Then I halve a garlic clove and rub it on the bread while it’s still hot. It sort of “melts” over the bread. When you bring it up to your face, the garlic wafts up to your nose.

    Wow, that was quite an early-morning babble.

  52. 52

    @harlana pepper: If I’m not mistaken hoarding is a mental disorder or illness, right? Do they treat it that way on the show?

  53. 53
    Fleem says:

    @Fleem:

    We’ve given up trying to convince the cat that all the non-litter box items he uses are not litter boxes.

    Edit edit edit edit.

  54. 54
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    I caught my dick in my zipper a couple of days ago.

    It still hurts.

    Other than that, a pretty good weekend.

  55. 55
    harlana pepper says:

    @vacuumslayer: Well, what they do is have someone trained in that disorder come in an supervise a clean-up and help the individuals through the process. I was surprised at how difficult it was for these folks to give up items they would likely never use again in their lives, it’s a huge deal to them. Counseling afterwards is recommended but that treatment is not part of the show.

    I’m bad about picking up after myself at times and I KNOW I’ve got items I need to get rid of (conveniently, I have a junk room for that, although the junk is organized into boxes and such) but I would be THRILLED to have someone come in and provide moral support and motivation for me to throw stuff out simply b/c the thought of going through all my stuff and deciding what to keep and what to toss is overwhelming sometimes. But these folks really have issues with parting with junk, one guy almost got physically sick. The food hoarder lady was really, really bad. She had rotting pumpkins and cabbages all over her 2000 sq. ft home! As one of the guys (with mask) was shoveling a rotted pumpkin off the floor (!) she starts picking seeds out of it for planting! When she pulled out her hydrator pan which contained ancient meat (and juices!) one of the cleaning guys had to run outside b/c he thought he was going to be sick! Yikes.

  56. 56

    yes, it sounds really disturbing. I hope these folks are being responsible with the hoarders. For some people it is a full-on mental illness. If I’m not mistaken it’s not something that can be “cured.” But anything that gives these folks even a temporary fresh start sounds ok…

    I’m the opposite of a hoarder. I am a lazy housekeeper, so when it comes to throwing things out, I am ruthless. Each time we move (‘cuz hubby is military) we become more and more lean.

  57. 57
    harlana pepper says:

    @The Saff: Agreed! Here we can cuss and complain at least, and fantasize about obstructionists being beaten into whimpering submission.

    I will have to say, Howard Fineman on KO last week, was spot on in his analysis that Obama needs thwack Congress over the head with this public option, let obstructionist fuckers filibuster, and assure them (and US!) he will veto any bill without it. Republicans will have a NEW brand, obstructionists who don’t give a damn about the American people OR keeping health insurance costs down (I thought repubes were all about that sort of thing, go figure).

    Because everybody (but Obama, apparently) knows the repubes have no intention of supporting any kind of reform (even w/o a public option) and their only goal is to destroy Dems and Obama’s presidency.

  58. 58

    *jumping into health care conversation* There comes a time when a leader has to well, lead…even if it makes him unpopular for a spell. I sure wish Obama would put his leading pants on.

  59. 59
    harlana pepper says:

    @vacuumslayer: I periodically go through my shit and donate or toss items. But it’s just such a drag – well, actually once you start into it it’s not so bad and the feeling afterwards is awesome.

    Yes, they need continued counseling for sure – a community mental health center might be able to assist for those who don’t have insurance and/or have low incomes.

  60. 60
    harlana pepper says:

    @Brick Oven Bill: Too much info, BOB, but I look forward to comments on this one.

  61. 61
    Comrade Darkness says:

    Re: thick skinned

    I’m assuming you know the trick of dipping tomatoes into boiling water so the skin just slides off, right? Just thought I’m mention it, just in case.

  62. 62
    Comrade Darkness says:

    @hidflect: We moved into our house and found the garden built out of that. Scary scary thought. I systematically ripped it all out and replaced with the half plastic/half wood decking. Expensive, but it looks great.

  63. 63
    tess says:

    Don’t give up on your flowering basil! Just cut the flowers off!

    That’s what I do to because I regularly start getting flowering around mid-July, right when the tomatoes start to ripen. As long as the weather stays warm, just cut off the flowers at the top and the basil will keep growing. I have a beautiful purple and green African basil plant that is more like a basil bush now. I probably cut the flowers about once per week.

    I spent the summer trying new varieties of tomatoes through our Locally Grown group. Next year I want to try to grow Green Zebras, Eva Purple Balls, and Arkansas Travelers. The Evas, especially, taste like tomatoes my grandmother used to grow, and the ATs aren’t far off.

    We’ve spent the summer making salads of different types of tomatoes, balsamic vineigarette, and crumbled goat cheese. Delicious and easy.

  64. 64
    chopper says:

    one plant that’s doing well is the italian heirloom. nice big oxheart tomatoes, tasty and meaty. good combo for slicing and paste.

    everything else has been meh at best.

  65. 65
    Cathaireverywhere says:

    Sun Golds are so good! I had them for the first time this summer, and plan to include them in the garden next year. Juliets are an old favorite of mine- prolific and great for sun drying. I am in zone 8/9, and grew Black from Tula for the first time this year. Gorgeous dark fruit, think skinned and juicy. I also tried Mortgage Lifter- giant pinkish-red fruit, gorgeous when sliced. Very nice with fresh mozzarella. My sweet basil is gigantic. I made one batch of pesto and froze it in ice cubes trays yesterday. I’ll make a few more batches before everything freezes. I generally hate fish, but don’t mid salmon with pesto on it and I love a bowl of tomato soup with a pesto cube thrown in.

    I’ve had a weird summer for tomatoes, though. Some more prolific than usual, some less and the Snowberry and the Black Cherry, which usually have great flavor, were bland at best. It was disappointing.

  66. 66
    shelley matheis says:

    Does anyone have any experiences with this dish? From what I saw the ingredient list sounds intriguing.

    I’ve made both 3 and 5-way chili. Delish and a qualidiscope of spices in it.

    I’ve only just a few tiny green tomatoes on my main plants (Ramapo) but have gotten a few cherries. Sungolds as well, and they are scrumptious. Already planning to plant triple the plants next year.
    But the herbs are the one thing that’s doing great. A blizzard of parsley and basil.
    Oh, and for some reason, the bush beans had a great crop.

  67. 67
    Delia says:

    I’ve had great luck with sun golds two years in a row now. I have a very shady lot and very limited sunny spots. I planted two sun golds last year and had more tomatoes than I could handle. Mine are just coming into their own now and are delicious.

  68. 68
    Wallace says:

    I find the asian supermarkets to be the best place to buy basil. And mint.

  69. 69
    Kristine says:

    On the other side of the ledger, my basil plants—one Genovese, on small-leaf globe—have gone to flower, overnight, without ever reaching a decent size.

    My basil plants didn’t do much, either. 5-6 inches, then they started to flower. I’ve never tried to grow basil before, so I don’t know what’s normal. I don’t think the summer was hot enough.

    My cilantro/coriander and parsley didn’t do well, either. No nice green leafiness–just stringy leaves and gone to seed. I harvested the cilantro a few weeks ago and shoved the stalks into paper bags so that the seeds dry out.

    Tomatoes are finally producing. Roma, Black Crim, and Sweet 100s. Made my first batch of marinara this past weekend.

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