What you will find here
This blog is intended to be a recipe blog, but I have a feeling you may find me rambling here occasionally about everything related to food: food security; eating sustainably; wannabe-vegetable-gardening; the latest news coming out of food science and nutraceutical research (which I promise will be interesting, please stop backing away); the collapsing fisheries; failed and successful experiments from the kitchen; food history; reviews of cook-, foodie- and food conscious books; veganism; vegetarianism; cruelty-free and ethno-centric eating and more. I don’t intend to bore, and I’m sorry if I do. Feedback is always welcome!
Why Salted Tomato?
I like tomatoes. Almost as much as I like strawberries. Which is really saying something. If for some reason I was in a situation where I had to choose my last meal, the request would be for perfectly ripened, still warm from the sun, strawberries. A big bowl of them. This is because it would be delicious, and also because it may lengthen my life a little if they have to wait until strawberries are in season locally for them to have that sun kissed sweetness. I am very particular about my strawberries.
But I digress.
I like tomatoes. I like that there are so many heirloom varieties, each differing in acidity, sweetness, texture, uses. Their versatility amazes me. They are so integral to so much of what I love to eat and cook. I like that tomatoes are so delicious when fresh and raw. I like that they can be cooked into ambrosial pasta sauces, delectable curries, and lovely salsas, jams, and chutneys. And ketchup. For what are fries without ketchup?
I like how the character of a freshly picked tomato gets amplified by a little sprinkling of salt. It’s the only time a salt shaker is okay on my table.
In “My Vegetable Love” Carl Klaus recounts the following childhood memory:
It was a hot summer that August in Cleveland. 1940 or ’41. I and my older brother Marshall were out for a Sunday afternoon in the country at the farm of my cousin Art, a distant cousin, old enough to be one of my grandparents. The farm itself was more like a country estate, a large white clapboard showplace with a wide wraparound porch. A place that Art and his family used as much for business and entertaining as for a weekend retreat from their two-story apartment in Shaker Heights. I can’t remember who all was there that Sunday. But I can remember Art, the gruff multimillionaire, telling the resident caretaker to “get each of them a salt shaker and take them out to the tomato plants.” And I can remember the caretaker telling me just to pull one of the tomatoes off the plant, take a little bite, shake a little salt on the exposed part of the tomato, take another bite, and so on. The warmth and juiciness and piquancy of those first few bites have been in my mind’s mouth ever since. And ever since I started gardening, I’ve been trying to grow a tomato that would taste like that one when I pick it off the vine on a hot day in August with a salt shaker in my hand.
That is why Salted Tomato. And now you know.
Who is Salted Tomato?
Salted Tomato is Me. You can call me SueJi. A bit of a play on words, which I may have to walk you through, but which will hopefully explain more about me:
My first name is Su…something. That’s all I’m saying. You can also call me Sue. I am female, and in my late 20’s. This may change as I continue to blog (my age- not my gender). I live in small town Canada- in a beautiful valley- the beautifulest valley in the world. I am a gardener wannabe. I can’t wait to have my own home specifically so I can have a vegetable and fruit garden. My parents are immigrants from east India. In India Ji is a common suffix used to denote respect when addressing someone. AuntieJi. UncleJi. It also works with names. SusanJi. Oops- is that her name?
Close, but no cigar. But you can still call me Sue, and if you add a little Ji on there, it’s that much nicer. The best thing though is this- Sueji (or perhaps more accurately “sooji”) is Hindi for cream of wheat. Which can be made into my favourite breakfast dish- savoury, salty oopma. Which I will eventually share a recipe for. And yes, you can certainly put tomatoes in it.
So what have you learned about Salted Tomato?
She’s a she, has a predilection for red foods like strawberries and tomatoes, and is looking forward to someday growing her own. Her name is something close enough to Susan that you could call her Sue, but she values her privacy enough to not want to share her full name. She’s first-generation Canadian, and is clearly biased about the valley her town is located in. She likes cream of wheat- particularly in east-Indian porridge form. She tends to ramble, and is a bit quirky. Hopefully you think she is interesting enough to read that you want to continue with her blog.