Challenging Arts & Crafts

the potted cherry tomatoes ....

It wasn´t  my plan to have any tomatoes in my garden. I once potted a normal tomato newbie, it grew big but never had any fruit nor flowers... From that time on, I have avoided to include tomatoes in my list of vegetables for my container garden. This season though, I never thought that planting cherry tomatoes in pots would be a success. 
In fact, it´s even more than a sucess!!!

We live in a townhouse (rowhouse)  in the outskirts of the city that has  a 
small backyard. The backyard has conifers that we planted on 
all three sides  to make the garden a bit closed and private. 

The conifers , hibiscus are slug resistent and some of my flowering pots contained 
geraniums which the slugs do not like at all. Of course, all flowering plants such as 
begonia, petunias & co. are either hanging or attached to the walls using 
plantholders from Spain. The slugs would have a fiesta 
if  my veggies were planted in the backyard.

 I have learned my lessons on the slugs... our backyard could never be a venue 
for my vegetables. Good that I still have an option and turned my 
top terrace of 9 sq.meters into a container garden... . We seldom use 
the terrace anyway, it´s just too hot up there!

Since years, I´ve been planting my veggies particularly the salad greens 
in cracker containers. the rest veggies are in 5 gallon plastic pots...  
Plastic pots are good, they never ruin your back compared to the 4 big clay pots 
I have,  particularly when you move the plants here and there to 
get maximum sunlight.

This season, I bought 2 newbies of cherry tomatoes and gave them a try.
As the days went on... each grew and grew more than 2 
meters high and started to flower, many flowers... Yuhuu!!!
I planted them in 2 five-gallon pots with ordinary garden soil.  Never did I 
think that this would be a thriumph, really!!!

I was so excited to see the first clusters of green tomatoes. I was so proud 
of my green thumbs  and felt so happy :-))

The first harvest had not been many , I  braised them to accompany the 
other veggies in the pic below ... hmmmm!

So, as the tomatoes got red everyday, I harvested them... sometimes in one picking, I could gather 800 -900 grams.. and they are so awesomely crispy!!!  I started roasting them and put them in sterelized containers adding olive oil to just cover them to prolong the
shelf life ....just like the way Oma  (hubby´s grandma) used to do it her way. 

The easiest way to prepare them was to ovenroast with lots of herbs. I used them in almost any serving. I just let the olive oil drip in a container... the oil drippings can also be used for other cooking purposes because of its aroma. I love using the oil drippings for the Stir-fried rice or by simply topping a slice of baguette or brown bread with it.

Below is  the process on how I roast the cherry tomatoes 

Garlic Roasted Cherry Tomatoes


800 grams cherry tomatoes, washed and dried-up
3 cloves of crushed garlic
1/2 tsp dried thymes
1/2 tsp dried basil
2 leaves bayleaf, each cut half
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/3 cup olive oil
salt & pepper
1 pinch of fine sugar

How to roast:

Pre heat oven to 200°C.

Line an oven tray with baking parchment/sheet.
Arrange the tomatoes on the tray, add the crushed garlic,  
 sprinkle the olive oil on top of the tomatoes and add the rest of the ingredients.
I use my hand to mix everything so that all other ingredients coat the tomatoes. 

Place the oven tray on the lowest rack of the oven and roast tomatoes in the preheated
 oven with  temperature of 200°C for the first 20 minutes,
 then reduce heat to 180°C and roast for another 30 minutes turning tomatoes every 
now and then. the skin should get crumpled as in the pic below.

Remove the bay leaf and place the  tomatoes in the sterilized jar, add the olive oil just to cover the tomatoes. Close the lid tightly and store in the refrigerator. Once opened, consumed within 3-4 days. 

Home Sweet Home

In the second batch of my harvest, I oven roasted the tomatoes once more and used them for the tomato tart below. Here, I used a ready made dough for the crust which I blind-baked. Then,  I fried one sliced onion, add this to the 3 beaten eggs and 2 tbsp creme fraiche, seasoned with salt & pepper then add everything to the crust. Baked for about 40-50 minutes or if the test toothpick comes out clean, then the tart is ready.

That´s it for today!

Wishing you all a nice weekend!