Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Last year I had the idea to save the seeds of any tomato I ate that were too fabulous to let go of. I ended up with a small plastic bag half filled with flat, tiny seeds. The one thing I forgot to think about was separating the various varieties in that storage bag that contained about 7 to 8 different types. So, earlier this spring when it was time to sow seeds I pulled out the bag and was confronted with my folly. In truth, I thought it rather funny, and since I only saved seeds of tomatoes I adored I figured whatever showed up would be welcomed. That is if my seed saving worked in the first place. I was guaranteed aunt Ruby and Sicilian saucing tomatoes because I purchased those seeds, and they were still in their original packets. Within a few weeks it become clear I might not know what I am doing when it comes to filing away seeds in an organized manner, I did know how to save them. Unfortunately, a nascent Aunt Ruby looks no different from an Evergreen, and therefore I was forced to wait to find out what the twenty seedlings would grow up to be.

The mystery of my tomato season has been revealed – they are yellow tommys, Cherokees, peach tomatoes, Sicilian saucing, and big, plump aunt Ruby swelling to an impressive heft. They are coming in fast and furious. Hokan has bought me a small chest freezer, one that he cannot fit in. Where he got the idea I consider giving up previous freezer space to stash his body I have no clue. All I know is without it being my birthday, half birthday or his birthday I got a chest freezer, and an item that has been on my bucket list for ions…checked!  I have already stashed away perfectly ripe tomatoes in my new toy, and filed away according to color – reds with reds, yellows with yellows. As for future seed saving, I think I’ll stick to my system of not knowing I ended up with a surprise bounty and a chest freezer.

Tomato Sorbet – yields 2-quarts
2-1/4 pound ripe tomatoes
½-cup sugar
½-cup roughly chopped anise hyssop
2-tablespoons vodka
¼-cup agave

In a blender process the tomatoes till smooth – it should yields about 4 cups. Pour the pureed tomatoes into a fine sieve, and allow it to drip into a bowl.

In the meanwhile, in a 1-quart saucepan place the sugar, hyssop and ¾-cup of water, and bring to a boil over a high heat. Boil for fives minutes then shut off and cool completely. Pour the sugar through the sieve, and discard the tomato pulp and hyssop.

Mix the vodka and agave into the tomato mixture, and chill in the refrigerator for a few hours.

Place the tomato mixture into the freezing compartment of an ice cream maker, and freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. 

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