Thursday, September 18, 2008

Micro machines

My poor cherry tomato plant has had a hard season. It was doing great in mid-May when the big storm came through and snapped it in half. Just the day before I'd used some of that velcro stuff to attach it to the railing because the bundle of tomatoes ripening on it was weighing it down. Bad timing.

This was one of the tomatoes that survived the storm and was allowed to ripen. Doesn't it look fine? So then the poor thing started its season anew. And grew to be full size again. But then I kept going out of town for a few days and when I'd get home, it'd always be all shriveled up. I did my best though. Watered it really good when I was here, and fertilized it too. Then it got mealybugs real bad so I went over every inch of it, applying alcohol with a swab to try and keep them at bay. Tried tried. These days, though, the fruit turns out like this:

I had just taken a picture of it the other day and then I saw that Amy Elizabeth was having the same problem. Aren't they freakish, these tiny tomatoes? Oh well, there's always next summer.

As for the big tomatoes (those came from the grocery store), I finally got around to making this tart. It has a very small window. I wouldn't dare make it outside of the tomato-and-basil season. (The basil did come from my balcony.) I found this recipe last year but didn't yet have a springform pan. So I made sure to get one earlier this year. This was its first test run.

This one is on the Martha website this time: Tomato-Ricotta Tart. Their photograph is so much prettier than mine. The tart turned out really well. My only foul-up this time was that my bread crumbs were not "fresh" as they requested. Specifically I used a baguette that had sat around a bit too long and was all dried up. So, as would be expected, the crust was all crumbly and didn't hold together well. No matter, the slices still made it to the plate fine. And really, all I wanted was the ricotta and tomatoes.

When I have leftover ricotta around, I love to slather it on a slice of bread, then layer fresh basil, slices of tomato, olive oil, salt and pepper on top and just eat it open-faced. It's amazing. So this was basically a tart version of that. What's not to like?

Okay one last thing. I'm going to take a page from Mary Beth's book and from the Postcards From Yo Momma book and share a recent chat exchange with mom. This was in response to me sending her the link to this pattern for a crochet Obama logo. I was beyond excited about making one. Mom is a McCain supporter.

Me: Look what I found. I'm gonna make one!!!
Mom: Okay, I am stupid. What is it (a basket?) and what does it have to do with Obama.
Me: It's the Obama logo!
Mom: oh Had not seen it. I guess I need to go to his web page and see it cos I still do not know what it is.
Me: It's on everything they put out. Scroll down to the store items at the bottom and you'll see the button.
Mom: Yep I see it. I guess it is not really supposed to be anything. It is just a logo.
Me: Yeah. It looks like a sun rising over a flag. Like "hope" or something.
Mom: Okay. I was thinking the round thing at the top was for Obama.
Me: All I'm saying is that I am excited I can make one out of crochet! That is BAD ASS.
Mom: Yes you can.



Sara Christine said...

Oh I love your tomato photos! The first one is quite striking. It looks so vibrant and juicy. Better luck next season. :)

Courtney said...

WOW Your tomato tart looks delicious!! [...coming from a girl who has sustained herself on goldfish, Nilla wafers, Mac and Cheese, and crackers since Friday -- yeahhhhh Ike!]

Sorry your own tomato had some trials, but you'll be better and stronger for next year, right?!

Elizabeth A. said...

Maybe it's just that CJ is so HUGE he makes the tomato look small?... :) Your mom is funny. That's a good one for the Postcards page.

AMH said...

Is that a Skittle? I didn't know they came in tomato flavor.

MBQ said...

Wha I feel so famous!

Also I want to eat your tart. That sounds perverted but really I just love tomatoes. Num.

M.Thew said...

Your tomato tart looks better than Martha's because it's real. The PhotoShopped, food-designed, image- consulted product they put together would not have been edible. That's the difference between foodporn and real cooking.