First Tomato

First Tomato

I was off to a slow start this morning at Mist Cottage.

Mom wrote from Las Vegas yesterday, they look like they are having a great time. Those two, Mom and my sister, always look so relaxed and happy when they are travelling together. It is nice to see.

It is a beauty of a day out there! Stiff breeze, 24C, sunny, reasonable humidity, it just doesn’t get any better than this!

I am having another not-sure-where-the-time-goes day. Lets see, I must have done something today, it is after 2:00 p.m., and I’ve been up since 5:30 a.m.

Cherries are in season and on sale at the grocery store. Buying them is an indulgence, I love cherries, Attila loves cherries. The added bonus is the pits. They can be used as fill for microwaveable heating pads and hand warmers.

Saving the pits is easy, cleaning them isn’t so easy. A accumulation of pits has been sitting in a mug of water on the kitchen counter, for a few days. First they were poured into a sieve and rubbed into the mesh while being held under the cold water tap. Then they were placed on a clean rag and rubbed, this worked wonders. They were moved into a colander and rubbed across the metal, under the cold water tap. Once more they were placed on a second clean rage and rubbed. Finally they are on a plate on the kitchen table, drying. There is a 500 ml mason jar half full of previously cleaned cherry pits, to which the ones on the plate will be added, when they have dried.

Attila brought in the first ripe tomato from the garden, just before dinner. Oh, how I wanted a toasted tomato sandwich with that tomato! But, no bread in the house. There will be by tonight though, the bread machine is on the back porch, doing its magic. I might just have a bedtime snack, toasted tomato sandwich, made with homemade bread, and fresh tomato from the garden.

So far we have had rhubarb, and edible pod peas. Now the tomatoes are starting to come on.

A few days ago Attila told me that a few of the tomatoes had end rot. Oh no! I did a bit of reading on the garden sites online, and decided that it could be a calcium deficiency. I save egg shells, dry them, and crumble them into a mason jar. An almost full 500 ml jar of crushed egg shells was sitting on the counter. So out I went and sprinkled the shells at the base of every tomato plant, and used the whole jar. We will see if that does the trick.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 1:00 PM EDT Thursday 19 July 2018
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.9 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 23.6°C
Dew point: 13.1°C
Humidity: 51%
Wind: S 27 km/h
Humidex: 26
Visibility: 24 km


“Until you’ve lost your reputation, you never realize what a burden it was.”
Margaret Mitchell
1900 – 1949


  1. Sandy

    Mmm that tomato sandwich in toasted, homemade bread sounds perfect! Thanks to all of your cooking posts, I finally ordered an Instant Pot on sale. It hasn’t arrived yet but I’m excited 🙂

  2. Teri

    Looks like we’ll be in the mid-20s for the next few days. It’s making for some comfy days of working, here at the cottage. The other day DH finished the new firepit with a gravel circle that levels it out. Today, he started on the vinyl plank flooring for the kitchen/dining area. That will be finished tomorrow.

    I’m excited that the worst areas of the floor where we could get slivers is already covered!

    It’s nice, gnoshing on fresh veggies. We’re getting ours from a little roadside stand a short distance from the cottage. Today, we had freshly harvested new potatoes and tried garlic scapes for the first time. They were good!

  3. That is a great idea for cherry pits! We bought cherries two weeks ago and they were so delicious! I bought some again last week and they were awful.

    Now I want a toasted tomato sandwich.

  4. Sandy, the toasted tomato sandwich will be breakfast this morning, the bread didn’t cool down in time last night for a sandwich, I abandoned the mission, as I was nodding off and went to bed.

    Congratulations on the Instant Pot purchase. I think you will like it. Since we are eating our multitude of leftovers right now, and I haven’t been using mine, I have found myself feeling a little impatient to get through the leftovers so I can use the Instant Pot again, lol.

  5. As I always do with new gadgets, I have neglected my IPot lately. It seems to take longer to use it than to use a pot on the stove! Except for some things like a pot roast. That takes less than 1 hour and comes out fabulous and falling apart. Just the way I like it. But other things – the time saving I’m not really seeing.

  6. Bex, the time saving isn’t significant, you are right! When they say a meal cooks in 4 minutes, they aren’t telling you about the 15 to 20 minutes it takes to come to pressure, using electricity for up to 30 minutes, and the time for it to cool enough that the pressure valve drops and it can be opened. I estimate a meal that needs 12 minutes to actually cook, will use a half an hour of electrical service, and another 20 minutes to cool enough to open up the pot. Still, I can put everything in the pot, close the lid, press the button and return when the the timer alerts me after 40 to 50 minutes, with my serving spoon, I love the forget about it aspect of the Instant Pot.

    What I also love about it is the one-pot-meal, the press-a-button-and-walk-away, and cook-outside-in-the-summer-heat aspect to it.

    For instance, on a day when the the humidex outside is 38C, and the air conditioning is costing big $ because the hydro is double the price, when I am preparing dinner, putting all the ingredients for Sweet & Sour Chicken with Rice & Vegetables into the Instant Pot, taking it out onto the back porch, plugging it in, and coming back with a serving spoon and serving dishes when the beeper goes off, is golden.

    Cooking adds a lot of heat to the house. For instance, yesterday I didn’t use the air conditioning all day, and the house stayed shut up and comfortable. I baked bread in the evening, out on the back porch in the bread machine, but because it was late brought the hot pan of bread and the bread machine back into the house when it was done. It heated the house up so much that the air conditioning needed to be turned on. Cooking outdoors is a must for us, or we would be eating nothing but cold sandwiches, and things that do not need cooking. Up until the Instant Pot there was a LOT of friction between Attila and I over oven cooked meals in the heat of summer. He truly and deeply resented (this was only revealed while we were trying to work out what was going on after the terrible, terrible mistake) not being able to use the oven for a few hours in peak hydro time on hot summer days, and there are a lot of them.

    Then there is the hydro element of cooking with an Instant Pot, at our house. Hydro is more than twice the price until 7:00 p.m. in the evening, and our dinner hour is much ealier than that. Using the oven and the range to cook dinner doesn’t cost a lot more on a given day, but over the course of a month it accumulates to an astonishing increase in the hydro bill.

    “saving up to 70% of energy comparing with boiling, steaming, oven cooking or slow cooking. Electric pressure cookers are the second most energy efficient cooking appliance after microwaves.”

    Another thing I like about the Instant Pot is that it is a portable feast. I could take this thing to Grace the Trailer, get the generator going and cook a meal; you could do this under canopy even if you were camping in a tent and had a generator along with you. I can imagine taking it with me while I travel, plugging it in rented accomodation and cooking a meal. I can imagine people having to live in a room with no private kitchen, having a small refrigerator, a microwave, and an instant pot in their room. I can see taking it to a pot luck dinner, although I don’t go to pot luck dinners because of my severe allergy.

    I will be using mine again tonight, been thinking about it for days!

  7. Teri, it is now lovely weather to be at a cottage! Enjoy!

    Your projects sound satisfying, with immediate results that you are noticing. Slivers are not nice.

    I sure enjoy you your little roadside stand! There is a farmer’s market here, but most of the stuff is value added, and anything fresh is priced way to high for our budget. There are a few roadside stands on our way to the Rideau Camp, but they are bogus, they say local fresh, and have things like bananas… yeah right, Ontario bananas, pull the other one, lol!

  8. Teri

    We’re lucky that the stand is owned by the local orchard and the limited produce is raised in their own gardens. They have a larger stand at the orchard itself, where you can see the various items growing there.

    We usually have to get there before 1PM to make sure they have things we want. Yesterday, they ran out of potatoes because they’re ‘not coming in very quickly’.

    The nice thing about their produce is it’s not the tough hybrids that are raised to survive shipping. They pick tender items as they ripen.

  9. Teri, ahhhh, yes I do envy that stand! It sounds heavenly.

    That is what I experienced during my youth, the stand you describe was found everywhere, and you didn’t have to travel far to find a roadside barn with lots of fresh produce for sale. The prices were decent, and if you bought in bulk, very reasonable. I haven’t found anything comparable here yet, but I don’t get out much, so there just might be something waiting around the corner somewhere, just not along the roads I’ve travelled so far.

  10. Birdie, we have been very lucky, all of the cherries we have purchased have been sweet and delicious, a lovely cold treat on a hot day. Toasted tomato sandwiches are one of my favourite lunches! The BLT is great, but the bacon is a no no, I limit my intake of bacon, so it is a T for me!

Comments are closed.