Excuses department: getting rid of tomatoes

I continue to be behind on just about everything, and this time the big excuse was the final harvest in the garden. On the weekend, we finally pulled out the tomato plants and brought whatever fruit was still on them home with us. And it was way more than I would have thought possible:

The last tomatoes

The last tomatoes

And this, mind you, in the middle of November in Germany! The temperatures have dropped quite a bit since, so it’s a good thing we pulled them when we did.

That means, however, that I have been spending more time cooking and canning than writing. Perhaps I should throw my hands in the air and the tomatoes in the garbage, but there’s something in me that finds that very hard to do. So instead, I made two batches of BBQ sauce from scratch, mild and hot, tomato chutney from both read and green tomatoes, dried tomatoes in olive oil, and pickled green tomatoes. Here’s the finished product(s):

Getting rid of tomatoes

As a result, I missed WIPpet Wednesday, but to make up, I’ll give you an excerpt on Thursday instead. (Ha! You’re not going to get out of it!) This snippet for 11/14 is 14 sentences from the 11th section (as now organized in Scrivener). Kustennin has gone looking for Celemon and found her in the headquarters building, where she is contemplating the Pendragon standards:

“Look at it,” Celemon said. “What is it really, other than a wide expanse of purple cloth?”
Kustennin joined her in front of the alcove, crossing his arms in front of his chest. “It’s a symbol — of Britain, of solidarity, of the things that make it worth it for us to stand together, even now, when Rome as our grandfathers knew it is no more.”
“But is it really worth all the death we have suffered?”
“This piece of cloth is not what caused all the death. It was the enemies who attacked our homes, killed our friends and relatives, and threatened to destroy our way of life.”
“Sometimes I wonder if death is not too high a price to pay for a way of life — or a piece of cloth. What good is a way of life if you are not there to live it?”
Kustennin could hardly believe he was hearing these words from Celemon, daughter of Cai, the man next to Bedwyr who had been Arthur’s most faithful companion, who had fought all his life for the idea Celemon was now calling into question.
The idea Cai had died for.
“You cannot mean that.”
She faced him. “Why not, Kustennin? Why not? How much is an idea really worth?”

WIPpet Wednesday is the brain child of K. L. Schwengel. If you’d like to participate, post an excerpt from your WIP on your blog, something that relates to the date in some way. Then add your link here — where you can also read the other excerpts. 🙂

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14 thoughts on “Excuses department: getting rid of tomatoes”

      1. I think it’s a natural reaction, though. A shortsighted one, perhaps, but I can’t blame someone for wondering if the loss of lives was worth whatever they gained.

  1. Wow, powerful! It’s a hard thing to question your beliefs, to question the sacrifices made in the name of something held dear. You’ve captured it so wonderfully here.

    And tomatoes . . . yum!!!! I tried fried green tomatoes for the first time a couple years ago, but I’ve never had them any other way. Pickled sounds interesting.

  2. That’s a really good haul of tomatoes. We just pulled our tomato plants and the last green beans as well and harvested everything there still was, though we didn’t get quite as many. Plus, for some reason we only got small tomatoes (everything from cherry tomatoes to golfball sized) this year, even from plants that were supposed to bear larger fruit.

    BTW, the New York Times has a great recipe for tomato basil risotto that’s great for dealing with excess tomatoes. You blog settings won’t let me link, but the search function on the NYT site should turn it up.

  3. Ahhh, tomatoes.

    I had great gardening intentions this year, but weather and circumstances and inertia conspired…my sunflowers died in the intense rain, and the birds got most of the blueberries, even.

    I love this excerpt, and, personally,i tend to agree with Celemon. Once the wars have been fought, and the death and destruction are irreversibly wrought…then people get together and work things through.

    I’ve always thought it would make more sense to commit to working things out, and skip that death and destruction parts…which I suspect cause exactly the type of emotional trauma that lead to more wars, more death, and more destruction…

    I loved this excerpt, Ruth. And the ideas behind it, too….

    I wonder why Kustennin thinks that Celemon should think the same way her father did, and what that says about him, her,and the society they live in.

    1. Thanks, Shan!

      I actually agree with both Celemon and Kustennin. It would be nice to be able to avoid war, like Celemon wants, but when you are attacked by someone whose only goal is conquest, Kustennin’s way of looking at things has a lot to be said for it.

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