Friday, 31 August 2007


And when you crush an apple with your teeth, say to it in your heart,
"Your seed shall live in my body,
and the buds of your tomorrow shall blossom in my heart,
and your fragrance shall be my breath,
and together we shall rejoice through all the seasons."

Kahlil Gibran

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

tomato festival - saturday august 25th @ trout lake farmers market

Few things can compete with the magical delight of a vine ripened, freshing picked cherry tomato bursting with an explosion of flavour as you pop it in your mouth on a warm, late summer day. It is the taste of summer. My patience is being rewarded with the bounty of Isis tomatoes outside my back door. Organic from the seed on up. Further down in the garden, an array of tomatoes ripen away, as I dream of fresh tomato salsa with purple tomatillos, gazpacho, salads, and big fresh slices of tomato with juice dripping down my chin. From the Andes to Market, the tomato is the taste of a late summer day.

The origin of the tomato has been traced back to the Andes Mountains of Peru. The Aztecs were the first people to cultivate, eat and name the tomato - xtomatl. Conquistadors are credited with taking tomato seeds back to Europe in the 16th century, where they quickly found popularity in the Mediterranean countries of Spain, Portugal and Italy. As the tomato traveled north, it was veiled in mystery. The French called it ‘The Apple of Love’, the Germans ‘The Apple of Paradise,’ but the British, while admiring its brilliant red colour, believed it to be poisonous. Brought to North America by colonists as an ornamental plant, it was not until the 1830’s that tomatoes were accepted as food. By 1850, the tomato was an important produce item, they could be found in home gardens and were being produced commercially. A stroll through your farmers market will discover beautiful heirloom varieties of every shape and colour. Black russian, green zebra, golden nugget, sweet million and others offer a delicious tale of genetic diversity and history.

Today, tomatoes are revered for their anti-oxidant qualities. Tomatoes are a rich source of lycopene, Vitamin A, and also contain Vitamin C. Studies have shown that lycopene, of which the tomato is a rich source, can reduce the risk of certain diseases, such as heart disease and cancer, especially lung & prostate. The lycopene is actually more bio-available in cooked tomatoes. For optimal flavour, do not refrigerate tomatoes. To speed the ripening, place tomatoes next to bananas.

Groovin’ Gazpacho

The perfect late summer soup, this soup is served chilled

3 tomatoes, peeled, coarsely chopped
½ medium cucumber, peeled, coarsely chopped
½ medium onion, coarsely chopped
½ medium sweet pepper, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic (to taste)
1 litre tomato juice
¼ cup red wine vinegar
few dashes hot sauce (to taste) or chili pepper minced
½ tsp black pepper, freshly ground (to taste)
1 green onion, chopped for garnish

To peel tomatoes, place tomatoes in pot of boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove and place in cold water. Skins should remove easily.

Place tomatoes, cucumber, onion, garlic, green pepper, and half tomato juice in blender and blend for ~30 seconds. Pour into large bowl & add remaining ingredients. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving. Garnish with green onions. Serve with crusty bread and a side of good friends. Even better the next day.

Visit me at Harvey's Orchards @ Trout Lake Farmers Market for some of the tastiest biodynamic tomatoes!

Trout Lake Farmers Market
Victoria @ 15th Avenue
9am - 2pm