Well, except for all the green tomatoes still on the vine, which if anyone wants them please don't hesitate to come and get them!
Tomatoes bring wonderful memories of my mother-in-law, Alma.
She was the queen of tomatoes.
Alma would start her seeds in the house in early spring. Transplanting the seedlings as they grew. Soon they were in every room that had windows and sun conducive to growth. Cardboard half gallon milk containers began to be collected after Christmas and anticipation of housing future tomato plants. These, as I began to learn, were great because they would eventually decompose, but before that, would act as a deterrent to the cut worms that might take a tomato plant down in one night after they were placed in Alma's large garden.
Alma taught me about asking her family to haul truck loads of manure to her garden for a great mother's day gift.
I inherited her rusty old tomato cages. After she no longer had a large garden or planted tomatoes, I asked her for the cages that her husband constructed for her. She laughed. "That's what you want from the house??? My rusty old tomato cages?" But I knew that the secret to great tomatoes lay with those cages!
She devotedly dunked the juicy red globes in boiling water for a second, so she could peel the skin of the fruit. Bob, her husband, did not like veggies much, but loved tomatoes just not with the skin on!
Tomato sandwiches were a mainstay in the summer for the Nordberg household. The dark tender sweet tomato slice in between two thick slices of bread coated with creamy mayo and seasoned with salt. So yummy.
But she disdained cherry tomatoes. The bigger the better for Alma. Beefsteak tomatoes were her specialty. She did not process any tomatoes in the fall, but her window sills were always full of continuing to ripen tomatoes.....drawing the tomato season way out into the late fall.
Some years my tomatoes may come almost up to the crops Alma used to grow, but I don't think I will ever grow the perfect tomatoes that routinely graced her dinner table, summer after summer.
She's still the queen of tomatoes!