Thursday, May 2, 2013

Wrinkly Tomatoes + Odds-n-Ends, Plant Rehab Edition

You've seen this before on AMLV+, I know. The reason I know is that, bar none, the #1 Google analytics search terminology for A Midlife Vegan+ is "wrinkled tomatoes" or "are wrinkly tomatoes safe to eat?" or something of that nature. Seriously, someone finds me that way almost every day, so it must be uppermost in the minds of the world. Either that or other bloggers aren't really dealing with the subject of puckered pomodoros.

Years ago, I did a post on the very subject -- basically from a waste-not-want-not perspective. My fabulous Mom, may she rest in peace, used to recycle, reinvent and resuscitate like a pro. We learned early on it was better to just not ask how old the food was since it tasted better if we didn't know. She was inventive and creative, and I've absorbed much of her wisdom by osmosis, I suppose, since my head is full of random tidbits of unknown origin.

Back to the tomatoes -- The earlier post  included a suggestion for turning tomatoes such as those above into a compote -- simply a quick saute with garlic and olive oil, then taken off the heat and topped with fresh Italian parsley. This is amazing on a baked potato or stirred into pasta or soup of almost any kind. I do stand by this compote suggestion, and the proportions don't matter. Each creation will be unique and delicious.

With all the search terms concerning "safety" I thought a followup with more specificity might be in order. While the tomatoes in the photo above would be perfect for a compote or tomato sauce, these would not:

Again, knowledge of dubious origin:  these tomatoes are sprouting -- making baby tomato plants. I don't think these would be "unsafe" to eat, but they don't really appeal, so instead of going into the saute pan, they were planted in the garden. It goes without saying that moldy or soggy produce should be avoided as well.

After finding a good use for these inedibles, I was inspired to continue in the "creativity with plants" bent as follows:

I made some fresh avocado aioli (stay tuned for the recipe) and remembered Mom's avocado plants. This is how she sprouted them. For the first time, I decided to try it myself. I wondered how Mom got the toothpicks into the pit, and was surprised at how easily they slid right in. I guess Mom was worried I'd hurt my toddler hands trying to poke a toothpick into a slippery pit. I'll keep you posted on the avocado's progress.

Next, I beheaded my bamboo. It had been dead as a doornail up above, so I am trying to give it a fresh chance here. It lived happily in a vase of water for years, and then pooped out. A refrigerator repairman once remarked,

"Oh, you have a very lonely money tree!"

So I guess I've been inadvertently hexing my financial house -- nice. Wonder what kind of karma I'm sowing by lopping the head off the money tree?  I'll keep you posted on that as well.

P.S. I noticed, upon re-reading this post, that it is rife with alliteration. Maybe some of these would be great names for a band. My daughter is forming another one in addition to one in which she's the vocalist and also an acoustic twosome where she sings and plays guitar. How about "Puckered Pomodoros"? "Beheaded Bamboo"? "Dead as a Doornail"? "Refrigerator Repairman?" Just kidding about those last two -- having fun after my second cup of coffee! Let me know what you think!

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