Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Tomatoes as art
I thought this photo would be prettier than it is, but I will explain my motivation behind these odd-looking canned tomatoes.
The other day, I canned some heirloom tomatoes. I didn't worry about the colors or types of tomatoes, I wanted to get as much variation of color as I could. I really love the differences in color and even texture. I have red, orange, yellow, purple, rainbow and green tomatoes sharing the same jars and I placed them in the jars so that the colors would stand out as much as possible. It really is pretty to me, but I guess the green ones might throw someone off if they didn't expect it. I hope not, because I think they are beautiful. (They really are lovelier in person.)
The great thing about all the colors is that they taste very good and I don't think that combining the flavors will be different between them and the regular red tomatoes. Some of the yellows and the greens seem to be as tangy as the reds and in some cases tangier.
Though Brandywines are still my all-time favorites, I love the colors. I know that I would love to plant more yellow tomatoes (Jubilees) next year and I really love the Green Zebras whose color is a vibrant green when peeled and kind of green with yellow stripes when ripe.
I did plant some Big Rainbows and Strawberry tomatoes that were not my favorites. They didn't yield well and the Strawberries didn't ripen well. They were a kind of strawberry shape, but that is the only positive thing I can say about them.
The Park's Celebrity tomatoes -- I won't buy again (they didn't produce well, as advertised or last) but I will grow more Romas and I may save seed from the Purple Calabash. I just like the vines. They are one of the oldest varieties, according to what I have read and seemed to be less susceptible to diseases. The color is not really purple but a deep burgundy.
I don't know if my tomatoes would qualify as art but I had to try. I think after I admire, photograph and perhaps even paint them, I will use them in salsa, spaghetti sauce or soup -- the rewards of the harvest.