I have GOT to stop going to the farmer’s market. There are too many heirloom tomato plants.
Today I wound up with a Cherokee Purple (a legendarily delicious tomato!) and a thing called Black Elephant. “It’s ugly,” the nice young woman selling them said. “It’s like the Elephant Man of tomatoes,” said the nice young man with her.
“That’s fine,” I said. “My tomatoes are always ugly anyway, so now there’s an excuse.”
Really, though, how can I possibly resist a legendarily ugly tomato? It’s early, it’s delicious, it’s huge, and apparently it is hideous and cracked and lumpy and warped, even for an heirloom tomato, which are frequently a somewhat mutant breed. Being me, how could I not bring home and love the world’s ugliest tomato?
Unfortunately, this also leaves our tomato total at one Cherokee Purple, one Homestead, one Black Elephant and three Pink Brandywines.
“But Ursula,” you say, “last year you had ONE Black Prince and ONE Pink Brandywine, and you were overwhelmed with tomatoes. You couldn’t keep up.”
To which I say “LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU,” and also that Kevin has vowed up and down to eat a tomato a day for lunch if that’s what it takes, since he totally instigated. I would have stopped at four, but he insisted on the Cherokee Purple, and they were next to the Black Elephant, which, as we have established, I could not hope to resist. We will have capreze until the end of the world.
He has also promised to learn to make tomato sauce and freeze it, which would be awesome if any of these were actually sauce tomatoes, but they’re actually all slicers. So, um. Salsa? Can you make salsa with a slicing tomato? Does salsa freeze well?
Anyway, Cherokee Purple are notoriously wimpy tomatoes, so it may die outright, and the Black Elephant is not all that productive (you can only produce so many gigantic fruits) and it’ll probably be a hot summer which slows down fruit set and oh god I’m gonna die in a hail of uneaten tomatoes.