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A last minute lunch hodgepodge that you never have to worry about

Over the years we’ve gained enough confidence around gardening to appreciate that the true sybaritism of growing our own food supply right next to our front door starts showing off when our tomatoes announce they are eager to be devoured, blushing their voluptuous forms with appealing colors and fancy patterns, constantly whetting our appetite and luring us into the garden, whether it be for a sneaky snack, a last minute lunch hodgepodge that you never have to worry about preparing because it manifests itself sheer ready-made, or a fresh pasta sauce, more time-consuming because better when cooked slowly.

A popular member of the Solanaceae family, which also includes the deadly nightshade or Belladonna, tomatoes are the ultimate ambassadors for home cultivation, always triumphing by systematically degrading store bought relatives into tasteless water bombs, making sure there’s no going back from starting to grow your own.

Our insurmountable greed has made us gone overboard on them this year, in proportion taking up too large a portion of our veggie plot so not all fruits are easily accessible and require complicated acrobatic tricks to reach, which only increases the longing. Unlike previous years we have planned a little better for them not to all ripen at the same time, at least that’s the intention, imposed by horrific memories of days where sauce and chutney filled every available jar in the house, half of which eventually ended up on the compost heap again by stockage surplus.

Finding the right balance is key, but definitely not our speciality. We used to grow a lot of Mexican Husk Tomatoes too, known as Tomatillo, also a member of the nightshade family and the main ingredient of Mexican salsa verde. Excavations in the city of Tehuacán have shown that it was cultivated as early as 900 BC and was later brought to Europe by the Spanish and Portuguese, but the tomato soon turned out to be more successful and quickly pushed the tomatillo into the background.

Not at Les Pierres though, where last year’s crop self seeded in almost all veggie beds and weak-kneed and irresolute as we are, we could not intervene. We better start rinsing those jars again.


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