#SOL20: Fruit or Vegetable

A row of plants. Alternating metal cages. Sprawling green masses of leaves, stems and stalks interspersed with red. Another row. Another row. As far as the eye could see. More than 100 plants in all.

Fruit? Vegetable?

Easily canned.

Lifeblood as juice, sauce, salsa or sliced fresh from the garden.

I remember the summer that the “crop” ripened just as school opened. Day job school.

Night job. Creating recipes. No internet searching. Trial and error. Daily collecting and sorting. Ripe? Ready? Final product?

And then the Process. Remove peels by scalding. Cook. Add ingredients. Hot water processing in the galvanized blue canner with a rack to secure the jars. Steam filling the kitchen. Jars lined up on the canner. The popping as the lids sealed.

Gifts from the garden: pasta sauce, salsa and more.

Is it a fruit? Is it a vegetable?

An answer from botanists . . .

New learning?

Anything that is a root, stem or leaf of a plant qualifies as a vegetable.

Tomatoes . . .

Does it matter whether they are fruits or vegetables? How specific do you need to be?

The best tomatoes (“tomahtoes” or“tomaytoes”) are the ones grown in your garden!

Growing advice? Link

Jars to wash. Tomatoes to process.Time to work! Off I go!




Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.

Screenshot 2019-01-29 at 3.12.16 AM.png

Today’s bounty: 19 pints and 3 quarts of medium salsa

9 responses

  1. I enjoy how you leave this as a bit of a riddle, guessing the plant. I also really like your day job versus night job. Canning is a lot of work! And right- you don’t get to choose a convenient time 🙂

  2. These 2 phrases struck me – No internet searching. Trial and error.
    Lately I’ve been thinking about now versus before Covid. Your 2 phrases made me think about life before the internet. Lately I’ve been searching for and trying new recipes I find on the internet because I have time now during Covid to cook versus ordering carryout. Today your 2 phrases has me pondering the idea of trial and error too. One silver lining of covid for me is cooking. I’m in awe that your time is spent growing and canning the ingredients my internet recipe searches call for. Go Fran, Go!!

  3. Never tried canning, but my grandmother spend many days canning things she grew in her garden. Nothing like the taste of something freshly grown. Might sound strange, but my favorite was the pickles that weren’t canned, but sat in a crock behind the heatrola.

    1. Picked in a crock . . . Yes! There were 21 day pickles and lime pickles and dill…. canning. Another 30+ year old skill,!

  4. There is nothing better than a freshly picked, ripe tomato, sliced, salted, and enjoyed right in my hand. MMMhmmmmm! Enjoy that goodness.

    1. Store bought tomatoes never quite match in juicyness or in taste!

  5. This slice is so sensory–with the red and green, the scalding, steaming, popping. Love the use of “lifeblood,” since this annual ritual is so clearly part of who you are. Lovely.

  6. Well, gee, Fran, now all I can think about is wanting to make gazpacho now! But, I detest the process of dealing with the tomatoes. It feels like it takes me hours to peel them properly. But, it is worth it…

  7. Not yet for us …. soon! I love that I can completely hear your voice in every line. I miss you – we need to zoom soon my friend.

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