veggie tales.

August 18, 2011

no, not the singing, dancing, silly-song type.  that kind of veggie tales are (fortunately) lying in a heap, composting, in the back corners of our collective memories of bible camp.  the kind of veggie tales i’m talking about are much more exciting–much  more delicious–much more satisfying–and a whole lot less annoying.  i’m talking about our garden.  it is a glorious sight this time of year, mid-august, where the days have cooled slightly–bringing highs in the 70s and evening lows in the 50s–and the sun shines heartily on all that is climbing vigorously forth from the soil.  i will never be un-amazed at the process of plants growing.  that a tiny seed, some smaller than a pin-head, can muster up enough gumption to grow a million times their original size with nothing but soil, water and sunshine to feed it is, to say the least, a fine miracle whose design can only be in the hands of the Creator.  i wonder what a seed thinks (if a seed can think) while it rests under a thin layer of dirt.  does it know its purpose?  does it know the great things it’s Creator has planned for it?  and isn’t wonderful to know that God loves a tomato seed?  that he takes pleasure in a beet sprout?  that the little baby cucumbers dangling so precariously from the end of a vine make Him laugh?  We worship a very splendid God. 

Pruden, the 1 1/2 pound mater.

And that God we worship has done, again, amazing things with those tomato seeds He loves.  For one, he has given the same love of tomato seeds to my husband and an incredible zeal for cultivating said seeds.  One look in our greenhouse and you will know the immensity of this zeal that Andy has.  It is a tomato forest.  Nay, a tomato JUNGLE of impressive size and complexity.  one must crawl, on hands and knees, navigating very carefully under and over vines, to pick any ripe tomato.  you have to really want it, because it is no easy feat.  yesterday, i was holding sparrow while trying to pick a few carrots that we had planted under our tomatoes.  i think she thought she was being attacked by large, pungent green leaves.  and because it is reflex for baby to open her mouth whenever anything grazes near there, she got her first taste of foliage.  we grew a number of new tomato varieties this year including the ThesallonikiMountain Princess, Violet Jasper, Riesentraube and the Pruden’s Purple.  Andy has been carefully documenting when each flowers, sets fruit and ripens as well as the quality of tomato.  So far, the Riesentraube is our favorite–a delightful, bright, fresh-tasting little cherry tomato.  And our least favorite, albeit extremely beautiful, is the Violet Jasper.  It is a very fleshy tomato, a quality we don’t care for.  Though to be fair, we made a fresh herb and tomato pasta dish that was out-of-this world with the Violet Jasper and it was, as I said, out-of-this-world.  It is just not a very good stand alone tomato.  Just yesterday, Andy picked our first Pruden’s Purple–a gorgeous, 1 1/2 pound tomato.  I was skeptical, as large tomatoes can sometimes go the way of carnival food–large proportion, poor taste.  BUT.  what a pleasant surprise.  This tomato was delicious, almost melon-like in texture.  It was a delight.  We have yet to try the Thesalloniki or Mountain Princess. 

Pruden meets his fate.

We have been eating sugar snap peas and green beans by the arm load.  Is there anything finer that a plate of sauteed green beans and snap peas?  to be eaten with your fingers, of course.  no, not eaten–devoured.  you should see andy and i, it is likely quite barbaric, the way we eat our fresh veggies.  no regard for manners.  emily post probably dies a second time when we sit down to eat a plate of produce.  it is uncouth.  it is impolite.  it is delicious. 

the bird uncouthly eating her E.

we have also been eating carrots, an early crop we planted in the green house in april.  i LOVE to pick carrots.  plucking them from the damp soil is so rewarding.  and there is an art to it.  if you just yank, all forceful and impatiently, you will break the top of the carrot off, leaving the bottom half to sadly rot away.  you must caress the carrot forth.  coax it, if you will.  a little wiggle to the right, then the left, then the right again–all the while maintaining a steady, gentle upward pull.  sometimes you have to dig around the carrot with your finger to loosen the soils determined hold on it.  sometimes you have to whisper a prayer.  but always you must be patient.  and then, as fast as love, it pops up.  making the most satisfying sound when it releases.  put your tongue on the roof of your mouth and pull it off quickly, with some resistance.  hear that?  that’s what it sounds like.  and then, in your hand is a most gorgeous, long and slender vegetable.  we are particularly fond of the Cosmic Purple.  superb taste, very fun to look at. 


that’s it for now.  happy august, all.  autumn is just around the corner–thankfully.


One Response to “veggie tales.”

  1. Karina said

    pasta looks DELICIOUS!
    ADORE the purple carrots ~
    Yes, thank God fall is just around the corner 🙂

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