Monday, September 22, 2008

Creeping construction

Our tomatoes are still ripening on the vine, but construction looms. I fear we have just a day or two left to harvest our remaining fruit!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Winding down

On such a hot day, one could almost forget that fall is on its way and growing season will soon come to its end. We harvested six big heirlooms and four nice sized eggplants today. And the cherries - we're up to our ears, not that I'm complaining.
I feel lucky that our plants are still delivering. After all, due to a construction project at our building, our terrace was supposed to be cleared two weeks ago. But, one thing you can count on with construction is delays. So, we've delayed knocking off our plants. Boy, has it been worth it. Even though the leaves are turning yellow and brown and we've pinched off every new flower to bring the energy into the tomatoes already on the vines, we're still getting great fruit. The eggplants are having a second wind too--I've counted at least 10 new ones growing. We've been eating plenty of Caprese salads, making fresh sauce and ratatouille, and roasting peppers. I just read that freezing whole tomatoes is a great way to preserve them for cooking - the skin peels right off when they're defrosted, so we'll definitely do that too.
Sadly, the construction crew is on the march, they're putting up winches and preparing to scaffold the building. But if we get another two weeks, we should see most everything on the vines ripen. I'm crossing my fingers!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Traveling tomatoes!

This weekend we visited my Aunt Joan (yes the one with the recipes!) and brought our tomatoes with us. Joan just loves a good tomato and she was thrilled with our harvest - red, green and yellow peppers, an eggplant, plenty of heirlooms and a bucket full of cherry tomatoes.
So, of course, she made up a caprese plate right away, with fresh mozarella and basil from her own plant, salt, pepper, olive oil - perfecto.
Later that weekend she made her fresh tomato sauce and her yummy roasted peppers.
Along with all the good eatin' we got to go to the beautiful Hamptons beaches. What a weekend! Even Tropical Storm Hannah couldn't spoil it.

Monday, September 1, 2008

More dinners, hanging onto those vines

So, we've staved off sudden death for another week, i.e., the construction on our terrace has yet to start and we're keeping our tomato and veggie plants alives as long as we can. We were expected to have our terrace cleared by August 29th,(read earlier post), but as Labor Day comes to a close, we've still got'em growing! And they're still producing wonderful fruit.
Here's a shout out to our good friend Valerie Smaldone (yes, another Valerie) who came for dinner last Tues with our good friend (and her boyfriend) Rick. She wrote all about our caprese salad, heirloom tomato platter and fresh tomato sauce (sugo)on her blog for the Italian American Network (who knew??) - so maybe our tomato tastings will become famous! Check it out at
And of course, we had to have my cousin Ken and his new fiance Sisi over(top.) She is Italian Italian - from Padua - and even she was impressed with our harvest!
Sadly, Mitch had to uproot the pretty impatience and other flowers today so we can move the planters up to the roof on Wednesday. I harvested the peppermint, oregano and basil and hung bunches of each on the curtain rod to dry. But the tomatoes, they're still growing strong. We've read that clipping all the new flowers and the tiniest greenies helps the larger fruit grow quicker, so we've been doing that in hopes that as many of them as possible can ripen before we have to cut the vines down...I'll keep ya posted!