I KNOW, TOMATO WEEK (FOOD FEST 4) doesn’t start till Thursday, when Deb from Dinner Tonight and I will be at it again, hoping to encourage you to share your tomato recipes and tips and links as you have for Pesto, Cukes & Zukes and Green Beans the previous Thursdays. But I got started a little early, which I’m blaming on Amy Goldman, the heirloom seed preservationist and gardener and cook (and near-neighbor) whose new book is indescribably juicy and luscious…and who I have an inclination might just stop in on Thursday to join us, too.
If you’ve seen Amy’s previous books on melons and squash, which like the newest volume are collaborations with photographer Victor Schrager, you know they are somewhere between scholarly and scientific and sensuous (which means they cover a lot of ground).
You can therefore go at reading “The Heirloom Tomato: From Garden to Table” from any angle: Dip in, perhaps, to grab a recipe (Amy’s Cream of Tomato Soup is calling to me, as are Tomato Bread Pudding and her oven-dried Tomato Chips).
At another sitting, learn to grow tomatoes as expertly as Amy does (she tested an astonishing 1,000 varieties and profiles 200 in the book), or how to save the seed for next year’s crop.
Come to “The Heirloom Tomato” one day with a supply of envelopes and stamps (or logged into your computer) and write away for catalogs from her impressive source list, which puts my own to shame.
Or just try this, as I find myself doing again and again since the book arrived: Sit down whenever you simply need to smile.
I can’t help but react happily to paging through the portraits of all these creatures who call themselves tomatoes, despite their drastic differences. How can the tiny currant type, no bigger than a pea, and the outlandishly formed ribbed types whose lobes seem like separate tomatoes stuck together by a mad scientist, all be kin? Amy will explain it thoroughly, I promise: the history of each variety, its needs and uses, and how each one fits into the bigger story of these precious creatures that Amy’s done so much to protect, and now to honor.
GETTING READY FOR THURSDAY’S TOMATO EVENT
Our summer-into-fall series of food fests, a cross-blog harvest party co-hosted by A Way to Garden and Dinner Tonight (the blog from Everyday Food magazine), continues Thursday with an all-tomato celebration.
All are welcome—bloggers, readers, eaters. Come to simply share in the bounty that others deposit at Dinner Tonight’s and my digital doorsteps, or leave something behind yourself, perhaps a recipe. Either type it in its entirety right into comments, or briefly describe it and link to the complete version on your blog or someone else’s. Tomato-growing tips, news of favorite varieties, complaints about pests and diseases…all good, all encouraged.
Spread the word, and see you (and Amy Goldman, I hope, I hope) there.