Fruit for the spirit
Tomatoes what a delicious food, who doesn't love them? Outside of the fact that they can be highly acidic - although there are low-acid varieties - they are such a versatile food.
Let me share a little history about these beauties. I am borrowing from several sources, including Wikipedia, but I will put this in plain English.
Tomatoes originate from, believe it, or not America! No, not the U.S., but not that far from here either. They are believed to have there origins in Peru as well as spreading into central America and then Mexico.
They were thought to be poisonous at one time, can you believe that? It seems when the Spaniards took them back to Europe, the wealthy ate them and seeing how they are highly acidic, the silverware and other dinnerware they contacted had lead leached out of them causing lead poisoning and death, ouch!
This reminds me of another fruit, one that was forbidden to be eaten and when that command was disobeyed, consequences ensued. That however is another story. So how did the tomato ever rebound from this accidental mislabeling as a poison? Well, it seems the poor still were consuming them and they did not die, this is because they used utensils and serving ware made of wood and clay. Later this fruit, not vegetable, would make it back across the Atlantic to adorn our plates and tasty dishes.
Talking about a long trip and it adds new meaning, at least for me, to the saying "what comes around goes around"
If you love to grow your own vegetables, or in this case fruit and have about 90 days of successively warm weather, you may want to try your hand at it from cherry tomatoes, such as the variety "Sweet 100" to more traditional such as "Rutgers" there is a variety for each of us. The two varieties I mentioned previously I have grown myself and have had very good success with, but here are a few more I have tried and have had real bountiful harvest with; Beefsteak, Betterboy, Supersonic, Patio (developed for container gardening), Roma (great for sauces, meaty flesh) and Beefmaster. The two with "Beef" in their names are varieties with huge fruits when growing, soil conditions are ideal, I personally have had consistent harvest of two pound fruits from each variety, another is "Whopper", but I have not tried growing them.
Well enough with that, back to the more important part, eating! There truly is no better tasting garden produce straight from the plant than a tomato, IMHO, all you need is to wash them and eat, perhaps with a little salt to bring out the sweetness through a sweet and sour type of comparison.
Salsa, Spaghetti and Chili Oh My!
These are a few of my favorite things. I don't pretend to know how to make salsa, although I suspect there are quite a few recipes here on Hubpages, What I do know how to make is Spaghetti sauce and Chili, hey I actually placed fourth in a chili cook-off at a local elementary school fundraiser, lol.
So the basics for each are tomatoes, and more tomatoes. Now if your a puritan, you may want to boil down your tomatoes and fish-out the skins and when I have an over abundance fro the garden, I do just that, but it is time consuming. So, let us start with cans; whole, diced, quartered, I even like to use stewed. The stewed tomatoes have celery and onion and that adds real flavor, there are cans with fire roasted tomato and garlic, yum. I make enough of everything to feed a family of 16, so if your nearby stop on in.
OK, so now we have tomato, about 8-12 cans is what I'll use, I use no commercially prepared sauce, because they add sugar, or corn syrup and even if you don't use those kind then they add cost, as in buying Newman's or other pricier brands.
First I start with my garlic, i like to fry it in olive oil and no it doesn't matter if it's extra virgin or...in fact the USDA doesn't even recognize that as a grade requirement, so, olive oil about two tablespoons, I then add about half a sweet onion again cooking/frying till brown, oh I forgot to mention, I only use one pot for this whole process, outside of the pasta. Garlic, about five cloves for me, half an onion, and I add red sweet pepper, lots, about three large I add in that order, not trying to brown them. This would be the ideal time to add other vegetables, such as zucchini, eggplant, or mushroom. Maybe you can think of some others. At this time I will add spices, five Bay leaves that I crush, Basil, fresh or dried and Oregano, fresh or dried, to suit your taste. This is usually just a start for spices, I will add more later perhaps.
Let me ask you this, do you have a local sausage maker nearby? Here where I live, we have two, both excellent one is Roma's and the other is Obrycki's. You can also find good quality in Primo brand and Sam's Club, which is a part of Walmart Co. I add the sausage, I use about two - three pounds, told you I cook big, for my sauce and I cut each link in several places to facilitate complete cooking. When the sausage is thoroughly cooked, you can cut a piece open should be no pink, then you are ready to add the tomatoes.
The longer you let this cook, the better, especially if you used plenty of vegetables as this will add water and no one likes watery spaghetti sauce.
Wow, I didn't realize I had so much to say about making sauce. So I will cut short my spiel on cooking, I will only add that in cooking chili. I also have used this sausage with excellent results and I will add corn and to the spices I put into my chili, I will add Old Bay. a local spice blend made by the McCormick Co. of Baltimore Maryland.
This fruit, the tomato, is a fruit to uplift our spirits, GAL. 5:22; it can satisfy our bodies needs of hunger, it has anti-oxidants to fight off cancers and it provides us with pure joy, what love He gives us in providing for our needs.