This is the second year we have grown tomatoes here. Last year's crop were disappointing. There were plenty of them but they were tough, woody, and not juicy at all. I made chutney from the best of them, but wasn't keen to attempt growing them again.
However, not to be deterred, Mr A planted more tomatoes this year and they are absolutely fantastic. I would take a photo, but my camera's on the blink again. I cannot believe the volume of tomatoes that keep appearing on about 10 plants, over and over again. I pick huge amounts at a time, and no sooner have I turned my back, than there's another crop of fruit waiting to be gathered.
I love tomatoes but can't eat too many as they play havoc with my IBS, so I've been sharing them with the neighbours. I have given several kilos to Dursune, Mehmet, Sevke, and Sevke's daughter who was visiting her today. Mr A has also taken large quantities back to Gumbet with him to share with his boss. And I still have mountains of them left. But I have also made lots of tomato chutney. I would normally use the green tomatoes for this, but the red ones are fine as long as they are firm.
I don't have a recipe, or measure anything. I have a large aluminium pan which I use for jams and chutney, and I just chop up the tomatoes, add chopped onions, a few chopped green peppers (also from the garden), some pul biber (crushed red pepper), a pinch of salt and some sugar and a small amount of vinegar. Then I just boil and simmer until it's ready. The tomatoes of course produce a fair amount of liquid so I drain this off before transferring the chutney to sterilised jars.
The liquid is not wasted. There is usually enough to use for one or two more batches of chutney as a substitute for the vinegar. Each time I make chutney it is never quite the same as the last batch, but it's always delicious. Mr A's boss has already demolished two large jars of my chutney and is requesting more.
I am utterly fascinated by the three tortoises in my garden. Well it's too hot to do anything else but sit in the shade and watch them. I'll never know why people think tortoises are slow movers. They get around this garden at a rapid rate. What I also find interesting is how well they can climb. They manage to climb the wall around the garden and the steps up from the gazebo and back down again. I panic when they fall and turn upside down, and if I see this happen I rush to turn them over, which makes them hiss at me.
It occurred to me that this must happen frequently when there's no-one around to give assistance, so when I saw it happen today I didn't rush to help. Within a few minutes, after the tortoise frantically kicked his little legs, he managed to turn himself up the right way. Clever creatures.