I realize it’s high time to get back to garden blogging, but I’m going to go ahead and admit…my head and heart are still a little bit stuck in Black Rock City, where no plant of the garden variety can live, but where metal flowers bloom from the desert.
I have a story to tell about those metal flowers, but before I get to that, I have to talk about some oddly appropriate tomatoes that a coworker gave me just before I left. She brought them to me in a brown paper bag, and that, people, is way better than everything else that usually comes in a brown paper wrapper. (I’m talking about textbooks. You know, after kids put their homemade book covers on them? Do they do that anymore? Regardless, get your mind out of the gutter.)
I ate some of the tomatoes before we left, but my friend Fatemeh and I packed some of them to take in the car and to eat on the desert our first couple of days there. As we drove toward Reno, we pondered the little tomatoes, which were a variety unfamiliar to my coworker.
They were small and round, like Early Girls only smaller, and with an almost nipple-like protrusion on the end, which, to be fair, was kind of appropriate for Burning Man. Not that I took my shirt off, mind you, but it is a temporary city filled with expressionistic souls.
We didn’t figure out what the tomatoes were, but we enjoyed them until they were, sadly, gone. And then it was a long few days before we returned to any place where fresh vegetables are a routine occurrence.
When I got back to the office yesterday, I discovered that, while I was gone, my coworker had learned what variety they were: “Jolly” Tomatoes, an award-winning variety in 2001, known for its distinctive point. Of course, some seed catalogs describe that as a “tear drop,” which is certainly less risqué than my dirty-minded evaluation.
Nonetheless, they’re sweet, they’re tasty, they’re thick-skinned but not in a bad or troublesome way, and apparently they’re good cooked or raw. I didn’t wait to find out how they heat up, but I can assure you that if you get your hands on this cheerily-named variety, they’re going to be a very tasty addition to your garden. And if you’d rather think of them as having a teardrop on the end, well, that’s totally cool with me.