I've been harvesting very small amounts of cherry and grape tomatoes since July 30th - very, very small amounts, but we've had no large varieties ripen until this week (a full month later than usual). Sad thing is that the vines have had green tomatoes on the vine since June but they all seemed too stubborn to ripen.
Week after week they would just hang there hard and green - at one point I felt they were mocking me. Maybe they were in protest of the bad weather - kinda like I've felt all summer. Then it seemed a miracle happened - summer finally arrived on August 10th in New England. Yup..... for those of you not living in the NE you read that right..... it wasn't until August 10th that we actually got some real summer weather. The kind of weather that makes you want to go to the beach or lazily sit under a shade tree and do nothing but nap and sip ice cold lemonade. And it wasn't until summer actually arrived that the tomatoes started to ripen.
I was so in awe of my first red beauty that I must have taken 20 different pictures from all angles (I'll spare all of you those pictures in this posting.) I then placed it on a cake pedestal in my kitchen and just stared at it for a good hour it seemed - well at least until Andy had to ask me what I was doing. "Are you just gonna stare at it or slice it and eat it?" He said in a somewhat annoyed voice. "Cause if you are not going to cut it and eat it - I will!" "I'm dying for a garden tomato!" "Oh no you don't!" I said as I guarded the tomato with my life. "You come near that thing with a knife and there will be hell to pay!" I said sternly. Ok... at that point I realized that maybe the cool weather had killed off a few of my brain cells. I sighed and got out the slicing knife. But, I just couldn't bring myself to do it. So there sits the tomato a full 3 days later and still not eaten. Maybe tonight I'll finally bring myself to do it. But it has to be done right.... it has to be dressed properly with a bit of balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and sprig of basil. Something I've waited this long has to be savored. I know I have to get moving on it .... I'd be crushed if the darn thing started to rot before I got a chance to eat it.
In the meantime.... the other warm weather veggies are ripening fast as well. The yellow peppers are taking on a gorgeous lemon color.
And, another of my favorites - deep purple eggplants.....
The butternut squash has started to grow.... and grow, and grow, and grow..... Definitely will be bumper crop this year for these. I've got only 3 plants and but probably over 30 squash fruits growing.
So as I relish in the delights of summer's late arrival I feel a little melancholy. For although summer is finally here, Labor Day is only 2 weeks away. The other day I heard the sounds of football (American Football) on TV. Andy was watching the New England Patriots play in a pre-season game. I almost threw my shoe at the TV. I have nothing against football really, but I'm not ready for Fall yet no matter how beautiful the foliage is in New England - after all summer is just getting started.