I was delighted to see buddy Max Withers give a shout out in the Los Angeles Times to the glorious dry-farmed Early Girl tomatoes from Joe Schirmer at Dirty Girl Produce. Max took twenty pounds of the tomatoes, and made his own tomato paste. As he writes: “California farmers have outdone themselves this year: Tomatoes have been more succulent and plentiful than ever. So I armed myself with 20 pounds of my favorite, dry-farmed Early Girls from Dirty Girl Produce, an organic farm in Santa Cruz, and started working on how to preserve their intense, sweet essence through the dark winter ahead.” (Thanks for the scoop, Max, and congratulations on getting into the LA Times!)
Along those lines, another treatment for Early Girls is my recipe for slow-roasted tomatoes, which I call "Godiva Tomatoes." They aren't designed to last into the winter...ours barely last a day around the house.
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And speaking of GLORIOUS, at the right are pictured two buckets of the fabulous padrón peppers, which have become the darling of the foodie world—at Ferry Plaza, they sell for $6.50 a basket. I got three big baskets for free, because I picked the bucketful in front.
Logan and I spent a couple of hours at Oso Velloso Farm in Bonny Doon today, as part of my project to photograph graduates of the UCSC farm and garden program up there. Both Kurt and Toby were apprentices there, and both were at the farm for a while today. I'll write about them later. It's a beautiful little place—only about an acre and a half, but with such diversity. Fifteen kinds of peaches alone! Heirloom tomatoes, eggplants, peppers of every stripe, strawberries, apples, herbs, squashes, just so much growing, and all of it in gleaming health.
But these padróns are our addiction. And I'm not alone: three farms at the west side Saturday market cannot keep up with the demand in Santa Cruz.
I know what's for dinner tonight!
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: “We learn from our gardens to deal with the most urgent question of the time: How much is enough?” —Wendell Berry
Wendell Berry never had a padrón.
Thanks for visiting.