Heirloom Tomatoes

It’s still tomato season around here, and I’ve done many things with the baskets of tomatoes yielded by about two dozen tomato vines. There are a variety of them, grown from starters that were purchased in our area. I’ve canned tomato sauce, paste, salsa, and BBQ sauce. But there’s also some heirloom varieties available around here, and a few years ago we started growing some Cherokee Purple that I discovered at the Farmer’s Market.

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According to a story from NPR, the original seeds did indeed come from the Cherokees. Mostly they don’t grow picture perfect. They have a purple tinge to them and are really meaty and delicious.  I don’t throw them into the crockpot to stew down. Instead I reserve them to eat fresh in sandwiches and salads. When they  first started coming in I had too many to try to keep them all fresh, so I canned them whole for a winter treat. They are easy to skin, which is necessary when canning. I was able to do it without first dipping them in boiling water. I hope the result will be a less mushy tomato when I open the jar. (I won’t be able to tell you about that until I open one in a few months. 🙂 )

Our major tomato crop from the big field is almost over, but I have a couple young Cherokee Purples planted in my kitchen garden that I am hoping will give us its last fresh Cherokee Purples around Thanksgiving time.

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