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Lew Larason: Thoughts from an Epicure -- Enjoying the fruits of winter

Posted

I haven’t liked winter since I turned 16.

We lived at the top of a hill. I had a 1929 Model-A Ford with bad tires and got stuck a lot. Also, that was the winter I broke my ankle skiing.

The only redeeming feature of winter is it’s followed by spring with lots of green and flowers, and starting seeds for the garden. I was talking to a friend recently who said she was about to start her tomato seeds.

Ever since I became an adult, during winter I miss local fresh garden vegetables, especially sweet corn and tomatoes. I can buy frozen white sweet corn without salt. It isn’t quite as good as fresh, but not bad. However, tomatoes are a different story.

So many “regular” tomatoes are picked green and gassed to turn them red. They’re tasteless and too solid with little juice, a waste of money. Several years ago, I bought tomatoes on the vine from Canada or Mexica. They weren’t too bad, but lacked real taste.

I tried plum or Roma tomatoes, solid, and I think picked when ripe. Cherry tomatoes are another flavorful wintertime tomato that is great in salads. As a treat, sauté these little gems in olive oil and serve with fresh or dried basil leaves and a pinch of salt.

Recently, I tried Tasti-Lee brand tomatoes. Generally, I don’t pay much attention to information on a package if it’s a sales pitch. However, if half of the writing is true, these are good for you and grown the way they should be.

With non-GMO seeds and being picked when they’re red, the tomatoes taste almost like our local summer ones. At this point, these are the only ones I buy except for cherry tomatoes. Unless you can wait for summer produce, Tasti-Lee is a good substitute in the off season.

Enjoy and stay safe!

If you have any questions or suggestions for this column, please contact me either through this newspaper atbuckscountyherald.com or directly at guthrielatason@verizon.net.


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