The First Tomatoes of the Year, Ratatouille

Yesterday, we harvested the first ripe tomatoes of the year. This is only the second time that we have managed to get ripe tomatoes before Xmas. The only other time was last year. Global warming, What global warming?

We also made our first pickings of our large green capsicums and smaller yellow banana capsicums, added to the sweet basil and yellow and green zucchinis, we have the makings of the first ratatouille of the summer. The egg plants bushes oblige us with the first few small aubergines and suddenly, there is our dinner in a basket.

The weather is very hot now 39 0C during the day. Our friends in Adelaide have had 4 days in a row of  41,42,43 and 41 oC. Way too hot to be able to work effectively outside. I make clay while the sun shines, inside under cover of a roof, but still sweltering. Porcelain slip dries very well on the drying bed in this weather. It’s a good time to make single-stone porcelain.

In the evening we sit outside and cook our produce, Ratatouille with the addition of a small jar of last years concentrated tomato, onion and basil ‘sugo’. I lightly brown our new-season onions in olive oil and then add in our crushed garlic. The roughly diced vegetables are added and turned in the oil a few times to coat them, then the sugo is added and the lid placed on to allow it all to simmer and soften for a few minutes.

We sit and chat into the cool of the evening. A nice chilled glass of rosé goes very well with this simple, fresh and very delicious Post Modern Peasants repast. The flavour of summer!

We have really earned this meal. We started making this meal three months ago, when we spread the compost and planted the seedlings. Now it’s payback time. It explodes in our mouths and takes us back to last summer. I can feel myself starting to relax into the idea of taking a little time off over the solstice break. This is a well earned, beautiful moment.

I am grateful!