By LYNNE IRONS
My friend Sharlee has done it again. She came up with another great food tip. Last summer in the peak of the tomato season, I shared with you her simple freezing method. Core the tomatoes, bag them, and pop into the freezer. In the dead of the winter running the fruit under cold water will immediately remove the skins and you are good to go. Soups, sauces and stews will be in the making.
We were talking about raw onions and how much we enjoy them but that they don’t treat us right. She suggested pouring a bit of vinegar on the slices while preparing the rest of the salad and, don’t you know, it is the answer. They are crunchy and delicious with no late-night Alka Seltzer drinking.
My new favorite summertime dish is the aforementioned vinegar-soaked sweet Spanish onions, big chunks of fresh tomato, some feta or chevre, a lemon vinaigrette, and torn-up pieces of French bread. The bread gets all soggy with tomato juice and dressing. Yummy!
Speaking of tomatoes, I saw my first tomato worm. Oh, the horror. Talk about despicable. They will devastate a plant in no time and have to be located. Since they are exactly the color of the stem, they are difficult to find. If you are a first-timer, it is hard not to scream. They are cousins to the tobacco worm, which I am told is twice as big. Lord have mercy! Of course, the farmers drench the plant in chemicals to kill them. Put that in your pipe, you smokers. Anyway, I usually throw them in the street where they leave a green smear when run over. I have tossed them to the chickens in the past, but they are horrified, as they should be.
Once a week, I go to a job on Turkeyland Cove and have been watching the progress of the Morning Glory Farm corn plantings at the end of Meetinghouse Road. It is amazing how much they grow in a week. Guess we will be eating corn well into October.
I saw a young boy, perhaps 9 or 10, mowing his parents’ lawn. He had no eye or ear protection and was wearing a pair of Crocs. People, please! Once when my brother and I were preteens, my dad was mowing and hit a rock. It removed the whirling blade which careened across the yard and became imbedded in a pine tree about four inches. Need I say more?
A 27-foot-long basking shark washed up in Menemsha in the early 1970s. I took my toddler to see it. I have a photo of him walking around on it. Twenty-seven feet. A man on the beach told me that fishermen often see them off-shore and that they eat only plankton. I hope I am not in the water when one swims by. Yikes. I hate to think of killing sharks for sport even though I have no problem killing to eat.
I find it curious that the orange impatiens next to the Tisbury fire department are doing so well. They are in the blazing sun in the middle of an asphalt driveway and yet never seem to wither. Nature is so forgiving and surprising.
The bright red hibiscus in front of Morrice the florist is absolutely stunning. They can be started for next year with just a couple of seeds which should dry shortly.
There is some talk about starting a community garden in Vineyard Haven next summer. I believe the selectmen would like to hear if there is any interest from townspeople before any action is taken this winter. Give them a ring. I was involved in a community garden in the 1970s with about 20 other people. The three-acre plot was owned by the Christ Church. I raised a lot of food to feed my young family. It was economical and a great opportunity to meet kindred spirits.
I am sick of the media saying the country needs to get to know Barack Obama. Doesn’t anyone read the newspaper any more? It is enough for me that he is not George Bush. How much did we “know” him? Wasn’t it Clarence Darrow who said, “As a young boy I was taught that anyone could grow up and become President. I am beginning to believe it!