Sunday, August 23, 2009

The end is near (I hope)

If you read this blog long enough, you'll come to see that I am no fan of summer. I endure it for the sake of fresh produce and herbs. And that endurance makes autumn, which is my favourite season, all the sweeter. But this summer has been different. It's only in the past few weeks that we've had any real heat and humidity. The air conditioning has not gotten much of a workout this summer at all. And I love it that way. Even now, the windows are open as we await yet more rain.

That said, I do not want summer to overstay it's welcome, just to make up for lost time. I don't care that it arrived a few months late. It is not allowed to nose it's way into my autumn. Bring on long pants, light jackets and hoodies!

But if I may backtrack into the bounty of summer for a moment, I would like to share one of the fruits of that strange Bear Claw tomato plant that I've mentioned previously (and if you're wondering, yes, my tomatoes have successfully taken over most of the neighbourhood, and I suspect that once we dig them up, we'll find at least 2 small children and a Mini Cooper under them). This tomato plant produces Brandywine type tomatoes, with a strange teardrop-ish shape.

Here's the first one that I pulled off. The first thing that I thought when I saw it on the plant was that it was rather heart-shaped. Then I saw the markings on it and that settled it. It's a Cardiac Tomato. Perhaps the first of it's kind. Definitely a contender for the strangest looking thing I've ever grown, and I'm including that carrot with 6 legs. It was quite large. There's nothing to reference the size in the picture, but it was bigger than my whole fist, consistent with the Brandywine variety. It was also a little mealy in the middle, but I suspect that is due to the large quantity of rain we've gotten this season. The flavour was good. I added it to a bowl with some cucumber, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Yum.

There are a few more on the plant yet, which has taken quite a beating as summer has worn on. I haven't seen any more with such a pronounced heart shape to them, but they are all tapered at the end.

Now, on to autumn. September is nearly here, and with it our daughter's second birthday. I really hope and pray that it does not rain again this year. Our house simply is not large enough for everyone, and this year we've invited the family of one of our son's soccer teammates. He and this girl became friends, as did Little Miss and the girl's brother, who is six months younger. So we'll have a very, very full house if the weather is not good. 23C and no rain would be lovely.

And then we dive into homeschooling again. Not that we've really stopped, but we haven't had a routine. I still don't know what our routine will look like, but I'm sure it will emerge as we go along. A little book work, a little art time, some outside fun, some tidying around the house. And the rest of the day spent learning through living. I love homeschooling!

I am already looking forward to the local food festival which is in early October. We went last year and found some new apples. Niagara Gold they're called. They are THE BEST apples I've ever tasted. And living here, I've had many. Tart, sweet, crisp, juicy. They have it all, with a really pronounced apple flavour. They're wonderful, and I hope to get more this year. I can already see them stuffed into a pork loin, glazed with hard cider (a recent discovery I've made and a new favourite beverage and autumn cooking flavour, I'm sure).

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