Monday, August 24, 2009

Worth the Wait

It took more than a whole month longer than last year but the tomatoes are finally here. And don't they look just gorgeous? Last season my best one-day harvest was 21 Petitbec tomatoes. So far this year I'm up to a total of four tomatoes. I guess that makes them all the more precious. The colour and flavour are outstanding and lucky for me there are plenty more on the vine.

I have to thank Connie at Notes from A Cottage Garden for introducing me to the flavour sensation of Brandywine Tomatoes. Connie, you were absolutely right! Brandywines taste great!!! Make that: Brandywines taste GREAT!!! I started this Brandywine Red by the kitchen door in February. I plucked it from the vine late yesterday afternoon. My expectations were high and this tomato did not disappoint. It makes store-bought tomatoes taste bland, bland, bland. This tomato is truly like tasting a bit of sunshine. There are least another four Brandywine Reds on the vine right now. All of them are an infuriating green. With fall fast approaching I'm hoping for an intense burst of heat to help them ripen. Otherwise I'll be paying a visit to The Nutty Gnome to ask for the secrets to an awesome Green Tomato Chutney.


Salix said...

Our first tomatoes ripened during the last week of July and now all of the plants are just producing an abundance of fruits. Unlike you, though, I find that all my varieties are less tasty than usually. I suspect that is due to lots of water and less sun.

Connie said...

Wow, that first tomato shot is so pretty!

Glad to welcome you into the Brandywine club! One bite is all it takes, and you will find yourself forever comparing other varieties to their outstanding flavor.

Anonymous said...

I will have to think about Brandywine for next year!

Nutty Gnome said...

I hope the rest of your tomatoes ripen because Brandywine are so scrummy - but just let me know if you want the Green Tomato Chutney reipe anyway!
(I made about 10 jars of the other day and Himself and the Gnomelets are worried that there won't be enough!!)

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Irena. I've nominated you for a meme on '7 things you didn't know about me'!
There's no pressure to take part but if you fancy having a go then the rules are over on my blog.
Enjoy! :)

Gardenista said...

OOOh, yes. Beautiful. I wish I could taste them. I think I need to move to a warmer climate so I could grow those.

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Irena. Here's the Green Tomato Chutney reicpe:

2&1/2lbs green tomatoes
2lbs onions
2&1/2lbs cooking apples
1lb raisens(sultanas are fine too)
6 lge cloves garlic - cruched
1/2 tablespn cayenne pepper
1/2 tablespn salt (but I use less)
2 level desertspns ground ginger
1lb6oz soft dark brown or demerara sugar
1oz pickling spice
3 pints genuine malt vinegar

Quarter the tomatoes.Peel and quarter the onions. Don't peel the apples, quater them & keep in water until ready for use.

Mince the tomatoes, onions,apples and raisens. put them in the preserving pan. Add the garlic, cayenne pepper,salt, ginger, pickling spices & sugar. Mix it all thoroughly and pour in the vinegar.

Bring it to simmering point, remove any surface scum, then let it simmer very gently for about 3&1/2 hours uncovered, stirring occaisionally - especially towards the end, to prevent sticking.

It's ready when the vinegar has been almost absorbed, the chutney has thickened to a nice soft consistency and the spoon leaves a trail.

Don't overcook it - and remember that it does thicken up quite a bit as it cools.

Pour the hot chutney into hot jars, filling them as full as possible. Cover with waxed sealing discs and seal with a tight lid at once. It's best if stored in a cool, dark place for about 2-3 months before eating.


PS. I've got a wonderful recipe for 'Old Dowerhouse Chutney' too - another family favourite, if you'd like the recipe for that too?! (I've just made a dozen jars of that ....... it MIGHT see us through to next Autumn!)