This Is What We’d Been Planning All Along

So, way back on February 18 we could wait no longer to start gardening and dropped some tomato seeds into little seedling trays.

On March 30 it was unseasonably sunny and warm, so we sat out on the deck and moved the seedlings to bigger peat pots.

On May 3 we transplanted the tomatoes into the garden beds.

On May 15 we saw our first tomato flower.

On June 9 we noticed our first Black Plum tomato on the vine.

In mid-July we started harvesting the Black Plums and a few San Marzanos, and a few tomatoes at a time, built up a nice collection of them.

And on July 26 I roasted a bunch of them…

… ran them through my food mill, and ended up with an almost impossibly thick sauce, nearly the color of barbecue sauce. This is how thick it was without cooking down at all:

With a bit of minced garlic sauteed in olive oil and a dash of chiffonaded fresh basil, there was dinner. I tossed the sauce on spaghetti, and then we drank a toast to those moments when life is completely, deliciously perfect.



Filed under Garden, Harvested, Pommerdoodling, We Grew This, Worth Selling Your Soul For

18 responses to “This Is What We’d Been Planning All Along

  1. Douglas

    Wow. Looks good. Way to go. Of the things we’re growing this year, we would say that the tomatoes are the most disappointing. We are getting a fair number, it is true, but many of the plants don’t seem to be growing as tall as they have in the past. (The only fertilizer we use is last fall’s winter rye, and humus, applied in the spring, right before planting.) Do you peel your tomatoes before turning them into sauce?

  2. I’m so sorry that your tomatoes are disappointing, Douglas! This is the first time we’ve had any luck with them at all, so I’m super excited about them. We gave them bone meal when we planted them, and I’ve decided that’s the key. I suspect there’s more to it than that, though. :D

    I ran all the tomatoes through the fine sieve in my food mill to peel and seed them. I have a new food mill this year (it’s an attachment for my stand mixer), and it works a lot better than my squeaky, messy old one.

  3. I totally can’t believe we went from seeds to sauce. Growing food is such an amazing thing! :D

  4. This looks so delicious!

  5. I have no idea what that would actually taste like, but it looks and sounds soooooo good!

  6. Thanks so much, Caitlin and Olana! This sort of simple tomato sauce is basically New Jersey summers on a plate for me — it’s my favorite! :D

  7. Hmmm, this looks SO good. Although, I’m a wee bit jealous. My food mill was a piece of shit that I could never get to work, which I don’t get because Alton Brown made it look so simple. So I got pissed and tossed it. The stand mixer version has me a intrigued.

  8. I’ve only recently succumbed to the concept of stand mixer attachments; I’ve always been really suspicious of the whole scene. But I finally decided that a meat grinder was in order (since I use so much ground pork for my chili regimen), and while I was ordering it, discovered Viking has a food mill, too. How could I say no? And it’s awesome. I had no idea it would be so easy! (Of course, my old food mill was such a piece of crap, it doesn’t take much to be a step up. I lost a food mill in a move a few houses ago that was a delight, and I was really surprised when the one I replaced it with turned out to be such a loser. But what can a girl do? Just keep looking for one that works, I guess. :D)

  9. LOL! I have asked for the meat grinder attachment for Christmas. My grandfather owned a butcher shop that’s been passed down a couple generations, so we have our own pork sausage recipe. I SO want to make it, but can’t grind my own pork. Having butchers in the family, I’m picky when it comes to my meat. (read that anyway you want) I know making sausage is how I’m going to spend New Years Day. (With the F*ckin’ Ice Bowl on in the background) =P

  10. I’m picky when it comes to my meat. (read that anyway you want)


    That’s so cool that your family has a sausage recipe! I’ve been talking a big game about attempting to make my own sausage, but I’m still in the baby steps phase of all this! :D

  11. My hint would be to keep it simple. I’ve loved our recipe for YEARS. After 28 years, my mom finally felt I was old enough (and responsible enough) to have the secret family recipe. There’s four ingredients and one is pork. I was shocked.

  12. this. looks. so. good.

  13. Chaz, WHAT???? Only FOUR ingredients? This is ASTONISHING to me. (I love that you had to prove yourself worthy of the recipe. :D)

    And thanks, Elizabeth!

  14. Liz

    This is a perfect seedling. The roots – enough, but not too much. And I love seeing the whole season to date.

  15. I believe that was my reaction as well. Although, I’m sure it included a “Holy Merde” somewhere, because I vividly remember my mom being mad at me.
    For some reason, we’re like the Bush Family when it comes to the recipe. It’s not written anywhere, and my mom slapped the pen out of my hand when I tried to write it down. If you can’t remember it, you can’t make it. That’s our family sausage motto. Sad, but true. =D

  16. That seedling was, like, my favorite thing about the entire garden to date. It really was picture-perfect! (We were murder on our seedlings this year, and actually stunted our entire pepper crop because of it, so it’s nice that we managed to capture the one that looked good on film. :D)

    It was so fun to have documented all of this; keeping a garden blog suddenly makes a ton of sense when you’re sitting there, half-drunk after finishing dinner, wondering how long it took to go from seed to plate. Thank goodness we kept good records!

  17. Chaz, I think it’s magnificent that your family has a sausage motto. Pookie and I are going to have to work on one for our family. :D

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