Sunday, August 15, 2010

Mr. Tomato Head



Certain things continue to elude me – good hair, sound investments, the pecan roll at Stucky’s. Up until this year, a bountiful tomato harvest was on that list. So wouldn’t you know, now with a hundred ripe red heirloom tomatoes and dozens of green ones waiting in the wings, I’m part of the Altadena fruit and vegetable quarantine.

Due to an oriental fruit fly or some such thing, the letter of this law says we can’t even take so much as a tomato sandwich outside our individual property lines. Some people are selling dime bags of the cherries on the down low, but I really don’t want to get involved in the vegetable underworld; I know I'd get caught.

Instead, I’ve peeled ‘em, cored, seeded, fried, roasted, baked, pureed, fricasseed, and spatchcocked ‘em. Now, what to do with the rest?

For your consideration:


-----------------------------------------Doorstop


-----------------------------------------Paperweight


-----------------------------------------Statuary


--------------------------Historical re-enactments (Anne Boleyn)


-----Costume dramas (A Man for All Seasons, daughter and father)


-------------------------------------Slasher videos


-------------------------------------Comfort food.

57 comments:

  1. toMAYto, toMAHto, it's an embarrassment of riches! (love the dog)

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  2. You Californians sure have a lot of fruit hang-ups.

    Alas, I was really looking forward to a scene from Salomé.

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  3. Wonderful scenarios! Well, if you can't take the tomato to the people, let the people come to the tomato. What time is the party?

    We can play this for background music...

    CALL ANY VEGETABLEh

    (Nothing wrong with your hair, as far as I can tell.)

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  4. Heirlooms!

    Such a shame; you could send me the rest if not for the burgeoning threat of an interstate collaborazation (sic).
    I'm sure we'd be hunted down like dogs! (Apologies to our mutual friends)
    Due to the overabundance of tarmac and polluted land in my neck of the woods, I have but five (count 'em) tomatoes to enjoy this year.
    Alas! The heartbreak...fresh picked ears of sweet corn will just not be the same.

    green tomatoes
    no more room for roots
    to take hold

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  5. If I had a "post of the day" award, you'd get it. The post is hilarious and original, plus it has great photos. But none of that matters...

    You've used one of the BEST words that have ever been uttered or written... "Spatchcock!" You would win for that alone...

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  6. I called Tom, fresh off cataract surgery with colors now vividly revealed, to come to my computer and read/view your post. We're both laughing, even as we wonder what to do with our own little crop.

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  7. I'm already on the fruit fly watch list at the Mexico border crossing at Tecate so we'd best not collaborate on any tomatoe dealings...

    (true story!!! We got caught bringing US fruit back into the US at the border...they took our passports and everything...fortunately, we had a much friendlier border guard at the tail end of the ordeal who handed us back our passports and admonished us for bringing fruit into the US)

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  8. Did you grow that watermelon too?

    I especially like your slasher shot. Hilarious!

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  9. Dog toys!

    The only thing you left out was a picture of the spatchcocked tomato.

    Is this serious? There's a quarantine on Altadena fruit and vegetables? Like, not Pasadena? Odd.

    I ate some tomatoes from your garden (in case the authorities are reading, it was before the quarantine) and I've lived to tell about it. They were the best tomatoes I've had this year.

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  10. Is a tomato a fruit or vegetable? An age old question worthy of great debate, equivalent to what is Goofy? A dog? Or???

    I see that the Chieftess learned spelling at the same school as Dan Quayle.

    wv: pting - the sound made with spitting a cherry pit.

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  11. Beautiful photo essay! My personal favorite is "costume drama"... although "comfort food" is right up there. Tho' that might be because of the comfortee...

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  12. It makes perfect sense that you would not be able to take a fruit or vegetable to your neighbor's house. Fruit flies respect political boundaries. If you have fruit flies in your yard, chances are, your neighbor doesn't. Fruit flies are funny that way, but because of this, they make excellent surveyors.

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  13. Well, dayam...I thought it was correct both ways!!!

    All this talk about tomatoes and your past post on BLT's have had me craving BLT's...just fixed one each for me and the Hubman...mmmmmmmm good!!! (No fruit flies in evidence...)

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  14. I'm listening as we speak to Mr E's Call Any Vegetable...I think you have to be stoned to really appreciate the depth of this song...

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  15. That first picture is a lot funnier than it should be. Why? Of course the whole piece is funny, but I could offer reasons. That first shot is mysteriously hysterical. Maybe I’ll just laugh and be grateful. Let me think about it some more.

    (I’m not sure I believe that you spatchcocked one).

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  16. Maybe you could have a BYOBL open house, (bring your own bacon & lettuce)? And also, have spatchcocking competitions?

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  17. Mr Earl, fruit flies' hands are too small to operate the theodolites.

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  18. God yam it, doesn't that beet all.

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  19. I love the Beach Boys all over again - especially their original version. Can you believe the har-mow-nies?

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  20. I never knew there were any songs about vegetables, much less two!!! Always a learning experience AH!!!

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  21. There's even a song by The Vejtables, a 60s San Francisco band:

    I STILL LOVE YOU

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  22. OMG!!!! I am still laughing!!! I don't know what was funnier, the outfits, the guy shaking his head to prove he's not wearing a wig, or the eye rolling by the drummer girl!!! This is hilarious Mr E!!! You Rock!!!!

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  23. My favorite is the historical re-enactment.

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  24. It may come down to that, Havisham. How's your curve ball?

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  25. The fun part is when they release the bulls into the tomato fight. \

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  26. All wonderful, but photo #1 gets my money.

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  27. Wonderful! Now I see where you go with red. Love the re-enactment, especially.

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  28. Sheesh, I never thought I'd see the day when we would be in fear of the tomato cartel, Donna Corleone.

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  29. Well, now, at least somebody's garden is growing. (sigh)

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  30. I laughed all the way through! Fun stuff.

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  31. oh this is hilarious!

    Why not ship them back east? I haven't seen a good tomato in I don't know when

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  32. I think the last one is my favourite use. Definitely.

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  33. What does a fruitfly look like? How can you tell you have 'em? Do your fruit pull out little cans of Raid and spray themselves?

    I'd like THE scene from Hamlet, please.

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  34. Stuckys

    Route 66, concrete tepees, the summer of 1970

    (please take the tomato off the Remington-esque chotsky. It's so disrespectful)

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  35. I"m trumping Earl on this one. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Jz706sJMjg

    I've laughed till I'm crying. I have a vision of John Belushi as the Samari Tomato Smasher

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  36. Brenda, I considered Hamlet (especially since it would annoy you-know-who), but you can't make a skull out of tomato.

    PA, we share a fascination with Stucky's.

    Virg, you know I'm a pink martini fan.

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  37. Brenda!! What is THE scene from Hamlet? Is something going on behind a curtain? Is someone shooting paper wads?

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  38. Oh, I'll take a Pink Martini. Thanks, V.

    Hiker, Ann Boleyn, she gave me the nightmares last night. But I did get up this morning and look up the recipe for Crushed Tomato Sauce. True story.

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  39. Check out their website, it's terrific.

    http://pinkmartini.com/home/

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  40. The pictures, the songs, the dime bags on the low down. OMG my sides hurt from laughing. I've never spatchcocked a tomato. Is it dangerous?

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  41. But do the tomatoes talk with British accents in the costume dramas?

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  42. I'm so glad to learn that the vegetable criminal underworld is not going to suck you into its shady confines!

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  43. Banjomyn, do we have to EXPLAIN everything to you???

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  44. AH (plus successive commentaries) THANK YOU for being able to rotflmao. I have had continuing bad day after bad day and I finally got to laugh and laugh.

    tomato is a fruit, ergo, the fly issue. it does remind me of a time where we were outside and flies were ONLY hanging around a friend of ours who happens to be gay. Someone popped up with the comment "must be fruit flies". I think that destroyed most folks there that evening.

    But I think I vote for AH having a BLT party. The quarantine doesn't say anything about sending the fruit home INSIDE of people, now does it?!?!?

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  45. There's an Altadena fruit quarantine? The Beach Boys have a song about vegetables?
    "Spatchcocked" is a word? I've learned many things from this hilarious post!

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  46. I didn't know about the Altadena Quarentine. How awful. But your photos of time with tomatoes are priceless! And, yes, your dad was a looker.

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  47. For those who asked, the quarantine is quite real, and it covers most of Pasadena as well. But as my little co-op seems to be the only group that knows about it, don't know how successful it will be.

    Consider this my monthly PSA.

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  48. Lots of spaghetti sauce? Maybe? Also: you can do we I have contemplated doing with anything big and awful that I cook: You can catapault it somewhere, anywhere. But that might be worse than that dime bags.

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  49. I hope I'm not intruding but I had to check you out. What a wonderful surprise to find honesty and humor rolled into one! I plan to visit often. I may even send my sister your way. She has the same sense of humor. BTW, I was born in California. Tulare. Ever heard of it?

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  50. Tulare is Central Valley farm country, the county seat for Sequoia National Park. Nice farm town with nice people near beautiful country.

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  51. So MANY awesome uses for the lovely round fruit. Congrats. Miss J's garden so far has fallen far short of Altadena Hiker's.

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  52. Banjomyn, if you can't picture a Hamlet scene (try Ophelia - or Guildenstern?), can you envision anything from MacBeth?

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