THIS is why I can..........

Tomatoes ....... glorious tomatoes. And they have the nerve to call those pale hard red things in the supermarkets --tomatoes.

These are tomatoes!!! Ripe, juicy, delicious and they smell like the ground they were grown in. Earthy and sweet.

So every year, I do the tomato debate. How many plants to I plant? Is 5 enough -- 7 too many???

Now -- I want to have 100-150 quarts of plain old canned tomatoes. Then salsa, catsup, tomato juice, pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce, maybe some stewed tomatoes. Maybe some roasted garlic and tomato soup. Yea -- you get the idea. The list goes on.

How many to plant? Hmmm. Maybe I'll plant as many as I am years. Ok .... that's only "29" -- not nearly enough. Then -- how old am I in "dog years". Oooh -- that's waaay too many. So I settle on 70. Yep......... you heard me .........70 tomato plants.

Was I crazy or what?????? Please don't answer that ...... my therapist has already talked to me about it. They haven't created a med for "tomato envy syndrome".

I want some of everything ...... Black Krim, Chocolate Cherry, Yellow Pear, German Johnson, Mr. Stripey and then I want La Romas, and Brandywine and Jet Star and Cascade. They are all too delicious.

So I can .... and I can .... and I can. And I delight in having the sparkling jars of tomatoes in the pantry. I drool over salsa with big chunks of peppers and onions and I know its flavor came from wonderful vine-ripened tomatoes, not corn syrup. And I know a great homemade pizza is just moments away ...... and I don't mean Pizza Hut.

But there are days --- canning isn't necessary. Like yesterday. All it calls for is some wonderful bacon and some leaf lettuce. And a tomato or two. And this isn't heaven, its Iowa!


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