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Italophile


Latest posts by Italophile

thick-skinned-and-tasteless--tomatoes-that-is-not-me

Posted: 23/08/2013 at 14:57

Granny, there's no point fertilising for fruit that has already developed. That's the fruit that will ripen for you if it stays warm long enough.

How many branches did you take off the Ailsa Craig?

thick-skinned-and-tasteless--tomatoes-that-is-not-me

Posted: 23/08/2013 at 06:12
Busy-Lizzie wrote (see)

Perhaps I haven't watered enough, but I've grown tomatoes for years. It has been hot this year in the late 20s and early 30s, need rain badly. I live in Dordogne, France.

Lizzie, it's been very high-30s for about a month now here in central Italy. If your plants are in the ground, all you can do is water very very deeply, driving the roots way underground where it's cooler and the moisture survives. I do mine about every three days.

Paula - Well done. Sounds like you lot had a decent summer for the first time in ages.

tomato-glut

Posted: 23/08/2013 at 06:07
Fairygirl wrote (see)

That sounds like a nice 'poor man's' bruschetta Italophile! Do you pop a little basil on as well? 

No, just the sliced tomato and P&S. It captures all the flavour of the tomato with no other additions. I save basil for things like bruschetta where you're adding extra flavour - garlic, oil, etc.

tomato-glut

Posted: 22/08/2013 at 16:47

Sliced on hot buttered toast with lots of salt and pepper isn't bad either, Fairygirl.

beetroot-sowing

Posted: 22/08/2013 at 16:46

I've found that beetroot need mid- to high-teens C to develop properly.

thick-skinned-and-tasteless--tomatoes-that-is-not-me

Posted: 22/08/2013 at 16:41

Heather, ripening is all down to temperature. Nothing to do with direct sunlight. Optimum temps for ripening are anything above low-20sC. They will ripen at lower temps but correspondingly slower. Once daytime temps get down to the low teens consistently you're better off taking them inside to ripen.

Skin thickness and taste are usually down to the variety as Welshonion said above. Though, as I've reported here before, a tomato can thicken its skin in the absence of adequate moisture. It's more likely to happen in very hot weather. It's the tom's way of preserving moisture.

tomato-glut

Posted: 22/08/2013 at 14:03

You need to be careful making pasta sauces with other than plum varieties like, eg, San Marzano. The plums are almost designed for sauce - lots of flesh, not a lot of juice, not many seeds. Other varieties, full of juice and seeds, cooked down, can produce a lake of liquid and seeds.

The beauty of the raw tomato sauce - posted above - is that it doesn't cook down the toms to let them shed their juice and seeds.

tomato-glut

Posted: 22/08/2013 at 12:42

But of course!

tomato-glut

Posted: 22/08/2013 at 10:45

No idea whether it appears in the book but I made a cold, fresh tomato pasta sauce t'other night to use a stack of ripe toms. It's essentially the doings for a bruschetta but turned into a pasta sauce.

Roughly chop your toms into bite-sized bits, taking out any core or tough bits. Add at least a quarter of a cup of EVOO. The amount of toms and oil depends on how many you're feeding. I used a quarter of a cup for two people.

Tear up a bunch of basil, add it to the bowl with a clove of finely chopped garlic and plenty of salt and freshly ground pepper. Give it a good stir and leave it for at least an hour for the flavours to combine. Don't put it in the fridge!

Cook your pasta. Tip the sauce into a dish large enough to hold all the pasta and sauce. Tip the pasta into the dish and stir very well to coat the pasta and distribute the tomato pieces. Leave it for a minute or two - stirring again a couple of times - for the heat of the pasta to warm the sauce slightly before serving.

No fruit showing on Butternut Squash in polytunnel

Posted: 21/08/2013 at 10:28

Pictures speak a thousand words. Here's a developed female flower on the end of an ovary.

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/29658.jpg?width=256&height=192&mode=max

It will probably open the next morning.

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