We're in the middle of moving into our new Utah home, unpacking boxes and painting over dark maroon, grey and green walls the most beautiful shade of white. We've used gallons of primer, bandaids and for me: ice packs on the back to make it all happen. It's been slightly hellish - and John and I feel we've bitten off way more than we can chew, but we're gettin' it done. I have so much more to tell you, but it will have to wait until next post.
Right now I'm dying to tell you how to pick the best heirloom tomatoes since tomato season is upon us and I want you to go crazy with your fresh tomato + olive oil + sea salt toast over the next few weeks. I swear I look forward to summer produce the most because of fresh tomatoes (okay, and peaches:), I mean, you can just cut a tomato, sprinkle it with salt and you have the best snack ever. Amen, right?
how to pick the best heirloom tomatoes:
1. Try to buy your tomatoes from your best local sources, like a farmer's stand on the corner, farmer's markets and small grocers that sell local produce. I promise you'll get fresher tomatoes and they're worth every penny. Famers markets / farm stands usually have specials too - like my local farmer's stand had a "buy 2 pounds get two pounds free deal recently." It was heaven.
2. Pick up each tomato and inspect it before purchasing it. Turn it over and check to make sure that they're are no "finger squeeze" bruises or signs of rotting, or mushy spots.
3. Pick a tomato that feels heavy, but the skin is still tight and firm. These slightly firm tomatoes can sometimes be just slightly underripe, but they'll ripen in a day or two and be perfection.
4. When purchasing your tomatoes, I like to put them in a clean, soft-towel lined tote bag, layering bits of the towel in between each tomato. I know, sounds excessive, but this prevents the to'maters from bruising. Bruising leads to fast rotting, so, it's worth it to me to be weird.
but how do I know when it's ripe?
1. To know when a tomato is perfectly ripe, it should still have a tight skin, but have the slightest "give" if you press ever so gently into the skin. I can recognize a ripe tomato now just by looking at it - but if you're unsure, use this test. Just don't press hard or else you'll bruise your gem.
how do I store my tomatoes and make them last?
1. If you notice you have too many ripe tomatoes on your counter to eat, I like to store mine gently wrapped in a clean, dry towel in a drawer in the fridge. I do think room temperature tomatoes have more flavor, but it's such a sad thing to waste those precious beauties due to heat, so once they're perfectly ripe and ready - I do store mine in the fridge for just a bit.
2. If you cut your heirloom beaut and can't eat it all, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge. It will last you another day or so.
Crazy tip! Did you know that if you store anything next to a tomato it will ripen faster?! Like a banana or avocado. So if you're looking to ripen those bad boys sooner, put them next to a tomato! ;)