Homegrown tomatoes & veggies ~ Waiting to start the summer garden...

Heirloom tomatoes, in their many colors, turn any salad into a stunning dish!
I can hardly wait to get my tomato plants into the ground.  By trial & error I have learned that waiting, until after Mother's Day, is the prudent way to go with tomatoes ~ at least for the locations I've lived in for the past two decades.  If I plant the seedlings too early, they just sit there, doing nothing, while I worry if they will be OK if it suddenly turns cold for a few days.   They don't care if I want them in the ground as soon as I see them at the local nursery.  Tomatoes will grow & thrive when they are good & ready, and not a day before.  What is an eager gardener to do??

Well, this gardener goes through her old photo albums & now that I have a blog, I can also post the old pictures here, too.  If I can't plant my tomatoes yet, at least I can see what I grew/cooked the year before.  I'm reminded of the famous quote by Longfellow ~ "All things come round to him, who will but wait."  I know, I know ~ but, ohhh, I so HATE the waiting!

So, here I sit, waiting for Mother's Day ~ not for a bouquet of flowers or a box of chocolates, but for the day I can go out & buy/plant my tomato seedlings & start the gardening cycle once again.  Waiting, too, for the time I can enjoy eating my tomatoes ~ just like I did last year...

Homegrown goodness...
...never looked so pretty!
Here are some salads I've made, using only my homegrown veggies.  I get such a kick out of being able to create  pretty & tasty dishes from the veggie garden, just outside my kitchen door...

Homegrown tomatoes, basil, sliced cheese & French bread ~ add a bottle of wine & you've got the perfect summertime meal.

Tomato Water Martini

When I make salads featuring my tomatoes, I usually like to make a simple vinaigrette dressing with olive oil, a few herbs, salt/pepper & either a balsamic or red wine vinegar.  I will sometimes use ranch dressing if I'm tossing the tomatoes with cucumbers and/or beans.  Fresh shaved or grated Parmesan cheese is always a nice touch.  Another meal Roy & I REALLY enjoy eating in the summertime, when the tomatoes are sun-kissed & vine ripe, is warm, crusty French bread with sliced tomatoes, basil & cheese.  This is a full meal for us, we hardly ever have any left.  We eat it slowly & enjoy it with a bottle of wine.  Now, that is my kind of 'happy meal'!

Last year, I had a TON of yellow tomatoes get ripe, all at the same time.  I chopped them up for my Salsa Fresca & found that I had a large amount of 'tomato nectar' hiding in the bottom of the bowl.  It truly is the pure, clear, essence of summer.  What a treat!  I turned that golden liquid into a Tomato Water Martini ~ just using the nectar/tomato water as it was.  I like having the color along with the flavor, besides it was all ready to go without additional fuss.  Works for me!

Well, thanks for listening to this gardener go on about tomatoes.  The wait is almost over....  :)

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