Sunday, August 20, 2006

Life Is Good

See, some dreams are really big and some dreams are quite small. This bowl represents a small, lovely dream. It is filled with the 5 varieties of heirloom tomatoes that I procured from the Madison Farmer's Market on Saturday. I've always wanted to try heirloom tomatoes but have never sat down and done all that seed ordering and planting and transplanting and such.
Ariella and I and our marvelous men and my two kids braved the human river that flows weekly around the state capitol building. We'd been planning to do this for months and finally the stars and schedules aligned and we trotted out, her Erik clad in backpack, me in an over-the-shoulder satchel and ooohed and aaaahed the wonderful goodies.
I showed admirable restraint and came home with a couple of pounds of heirloom tomatoes and some baby patty pan squash (another small dream; I've never tried them and always wanted to) and a lovely wheat-oat-walnut bread.
Next time I won't be so restrained.
Next time I will feed the kids their first breakfast before we head out, so they can wander without crashing blood sugars and nosh on a second breakfast. This parenting thing is a learning-in-progress gig.
Next time I will bring a U-haul truck.
Thank you, Ariella.

Have I told you lately how happy I am that you are now in Madison?



Blogger brooksba said...

Yum, yum, yum!

I need to visit our Farmer's Market. I miss it. I do remember eating my way through it as a child walking with my mom. Good memories.

8:52 PM  
Anonymous Ariella said...

I am so happy to be living near you! The zucchini bread is already gone (Erik sends his thanks) and we had such a lovely time on Saturday. We shall have to do it again whenever you guys are ready :)

Want to get together next week? I can do any day but Friday and Wednesday.

11:14 PM  
Anonymous Ariella said...

I thought I commented here, but maybe not! I am so happy to be living close to you and Charles and the children. The Farmers' Market was great, but next time we can go to breakfast first and then go out there... might be easier for us. Or we can go a little earlier or something.

If you want to get together this week, let me know. I can do it every day but Wednesday and Friday (which means, uh, Thursday...). Let me know!

11:23 PM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

That is a beautiful salad. And I *know* it tasted divine. So will you be trying your hand at heirlooms next year?

11:41 PM  
Anonymous Leigh-Ann said...

I can occasionally find heirloom tomatoes at the grocery store, but I know they aren't nearly as fresh as ones that would come from a Farmer's Market. I'm envious of your salad -- it looks delicious!

12:56 AM  
Blogger Lauren said...

I sure wish I could say that looked great but I unfortunately don't share your love of veggies. I wish that were different but I blame it on my sister. She loved tomatoes as a kid. I as her older and cool sister made the comment that I didn't like them so she stopped eating them. My parents then forced me to eat tomatoes at every meal until she started eating them again. I am not sure how long it took but I would have to say years. (At least it seemed that way) :-)

8:44 AM  
Blogger Cagey said...


One thing I adore about our CSA is the fresh tomatoes - more than once, I have eaten all the cherry tomatoes in the car before I even got home.

9:48 AM  
Blogger Babs said...

I KILL for tomatoes. Seriously. My family considers my love of said fruvegetable sick (weirdly, I'm not that big on ketchup).

At my first restaurant job my co-worker would suck up to me by making my chicken sandwich and instead of just one or two tomato slices, would put a whole tomato (sliced) on each side. Made it damned hard to get the thing to keep the top bit of bread on top :P

2:55 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Beth- Aren't farmer's markets fun? I should avail myself to them more than I do.

Ariella- I'll e-mail you! Next time, we will just make sure that the small ones eat before we leave and that will make it all nice and easy! Thanks for being so understanding. Again.

Rozanne- I'm contemplating it. It would be rather easy as they should grow true to seed, so I just need to save seeds from the different varieties and then REMEMBER TO START THE DAMNED THINGS IN MARCH. As I've whined to you more than once, I'm not good with seeds. On many levels. But then I could blog the mess.

Leigh-Ann- Your groceries are better than ours. It was quite good and fun, eating each one and seeing the subtle differences. My favorite was the smoky brownish one that tasted slightly smoky. Mmmm. The stripey green ones are the coolest, though.

Lauren- Oh! What a pity! I'd have never liked them again, either, just because I'm like that.

Cagey- Substitute 'car' for 'yard' and I have been known to be part of that same scenario. Ahem.

Babs- Me too! I'm crazy about them. They are why I started this whole gardening thing, because you just can't buy a good tomato in a store. A passable one, yes. Sometimes. But a good one? Nope. Slippery suckers.

3:33 PM  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

Um, I also wish that I could say your salad looked good but I cannot because I hate tomatoes. I would even say that it was pleasing to the eye because of all the different colors but I laid sight on a tomato seed and that creeped me out seriously and now I must go hide under my desk for awhile.

Why can't you take pictures of brussel sprouts? I love those.

I would like to go to a farmer's market, just to be able to take pictures. I wonder if they frown on that.

12:37 PM  
Blogger moegirl said...

Your salad looks de-lish. I like tomatoes-even though they are not in the Stacy approved food groups of chocolate, caffeine, and salty snacks.

4:56 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

I'm enjoying those huge beefsteak tomatoes, so red and know, the ones where 1 slice fills the whole toast for your BLT? Heaven!

12:01 AM  
Blogger Jamie said...

Ooooooh, the farmer's market. Sometimes I think I don't need to go, because I grow so much myself. But there is always something there to surprise and delight me. Last time I came home with leeks, red yard-long beans, chocolate bell peppers, and a loaf of spectacular ciabatta bread. *sigh*

11:53 AM  
Blogger listmaker said...

I restrained myself from purchasing a basket of heirloom tomatoes at the grocery store today. I'm not sure what to do with them, got any good recipes?

On our way down to our new house CD was whining about wanting fruit, so we stopped at a roadside stand and loaded up on fresh peaches, blueberries and other delicious things. This time of year is so great for fresh everything.

5:13 PM  
Blogger karmic_jay said...

The joys of having friends living close by and shopping at a farm store! We shopt at a family run farm store (the farm is right next to the store) like 3 miles away from home. I'ts something I look forward to each weekend.
The simple pleasures of life...

7:30 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Dana- One woman's heaven is another woman's horror movie. Will you be dressing up as a tomato for Halloween? I'm sure the farmers would love to be photographed.

Stace- Thanks. They were wonderful. It's the exception to the rule that makes something true.

Ruth- Oh, yeah, BABY! I think I must get some bacon at the store. One of my plants, one of the two who seem to have hogged all the soil's nutrients and are easily 10 times larger than all the other bushes is putting out scads of tomatoes, each the size of both my fists together.

Jamie- That's just it. There's always something new that I hadn't thought of. I was also surprised at the large number of bakeries represented, also artesan cheeses, spices, game meats, etc.

Listie- MmmmmBoy! Do I! (Jamie and everyone chime in if you have a favorite.)

One lovely way is to slice them and alternate them on a plate with sliced fresh parmesan. Toss some fresh basil leaves on top and drizzle with very good quality olive oil.

One of my favorite pasta sauces that I make when I have a bounty of tomatoes:

Take 2 cups of fresh chopped (not too finely) tomatoes, 5 TBSP olive oil, 5 cloves minced (or pressed) garlic. Throw it all in a sauce pan and cook down about 15 min on med heat. The oil will separate from the tomatoes. Salt to taste. Toss in a generous handful of chopped fresh basil and toss the whole thing with cooked spaghetti noodles and lots of fresh grated parmesan cheese.

The sauce freezes well in quart freezer bags, too. I freeze it with the basil in it, you could just freeze the cooked tomato part and add in the fresh basil, if you preferred.

Jay- You said it! We used to have one run by the kids of the neighbor a mile down the road and then there was the one run out of a shed at the front of the drive of a large family farm about 8 miles away. Sadly, neither one has been running the past 2 seasons.

1:30 PM  
Blogger Teri said...

The greenhouse near us sells heirloom starts. Life is good - but only if I get the garden in.

7:49 PM  

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