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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Zen Masters, Dolphins, Wise Elders and Tomatoes

One or two plants would do it. I'd have plenty to eat, plenty to share, and a few to pickle or sun-dry or otherwise experiment with: I haven't yet tried to create a tomato essential oil or soap yet...

But no, every year I lose any sense of self discipline and restraint and I plant a lot of tomatoes and the tomato goddess smiles. I must have the perfect soil and sun exposure, and very good tomato karma.

I have way too many tomatoes, again.

So today is day 4 of sun-drying cherry tomatoes. (I do the Romas too, but I especially like sun dried cherry tomatoes.)

Its supposed to rain later, and these guys are still a little moist. So I've come to the moment of choice, the fork in the road. Do I risk it all and stay on the uncertain path or take the shortcut for the sure thing?

I fear I'll have to cheat, and finish them off in the oven. So much for going green, and saving the earth's precious resources one solar powered tomato at a time... I'm afraid that they will mold if I don't take this drastic measure, carbon foot print be dammed. I know how to do it. I could get away with it, no one would know except me. And, what's a little more self deception in a world already full of it?

I could do it at night, while the house was asleep. I can trust the dogs to keep secrets.

I run through the plan in my head: Sneak down the stairs. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Put the tomatoes on the oven racks. Do not allow the tomatoes to touch one another. Check them in about 4 hours. Let them cool. Transfer the tomatoes to zipper-lock bags. Go back to bed. Toss and turn.

What will this do to my tomato karma?

I look at my perfectly placed tomatoes resting comfortably on their raised screens on the deck. Lightly sprinkled with salt, in the hot sun, happy. I've covered them with cheesecloth, (raised so it does not touch the tomatoes), to keep out the chipmunks and crows who come begging whenever they notice I am there. Like the tomatoes, they are loved.

With rain coming, this could take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks... and then I get it.

Tomatoes as teachers.
Zen Masters, Dolphins, Wise Elders and now Tomatoes.
The lesson is the same as always: patience and love.

May you be blessed!

image credit:tomatoecasual.com

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