Post image for TOMATO JAM

by Debra on September 25, 2012

[grooveshark width=”250″ height=”40″ id=”23174030″ style=”metal”]
Musical pairing – Draw the Line by David Gray

It seemed like a good idea at the time. My first foray into gardening was embraced with both enthusiasm and determination – everyone knows that one must first scope out the space, then plot and mark the area, shovel, rake, hoe and amend the soil with compost and know, without a doubt, that you’ll be pulling weeds for the season. 

I researched heirloom seeds, talked with many a Master Gardner, poured over gardening catalogs before deciding that carrots, broccoli, turnips, cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, red peppers, jalapeno peppers, eggplant, beets, corn, green beans, cucumbers, cantaloupe, watermelon, basil, parsley, thyme, sage, oregano and potatoes would make my first garden nearly perfect . . . as I labored preparing the ground, a childhood nursery rhyme sang in my head:

Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells, and cockle shells,
And pretty maids all in a row

Surrounded by the Blue Mountains of Walla Walla I dug, yanked, knelt, reached, stretched, and then soaked, aching muscles I didn’t know I had. Looking back I have no idea what I was thinking – that garden could have fed a small army – and I had overlooked one tiny little detail . . . because in my zest for planting my very first garden I planted 50, yes I did say 50, as in 5-0, tomato plants.

Let’s just say that this summer, the summer of my very first garden, I learned how to make all-things-tomato: sauce, paste, ketchup, salsa, soup and various other recipes I’m sure I’ve blanked out of my mind after weeks of being up to my armpits in tomatoes.

I wish I had known about tomato jam – I’d probably have skipped some of the other recipes as this is good enough to eat straight from the jar.