I “Hate” Tomatoes: A Meatless Monday Pizza Story


Today’s harvest of Lucky Tiger and Black Krim tomatoes.

I have always hated tomatoes unless, of course, we are talking about ketchup, pasta sauce, or salsa (or derivatives thereof). When Michelle and I planted our first garden this spring, I wanted to concentrate on peppers and tomatillos, the main ingredients for my favorite salsa recipe. I did plant one tomato, a San Marzano, that I could use in said salsa recipe. And then something happened. We got a little obsessed and started watching YouTube videos on heirloom tomatoes (this series by the Late Bloomer is great). Even if we didn’t eat them that often, we wanted to grow the crazy colored, weird, funny looking monstrosities.

DSC06422The next week, we had three more tomato plants, a Black Cherry, a Lucky Tiger, and a Black Krim. Those plain old red tomatoes would not do for us! We went away for our yearly road-trip, and when we came back, we discovered several wonderful tomatoes on all three of these plants. A week later, we had three more heirloom tomato plants— Pineapple, Big Rainbow, and Radiator Charlie’s Mortgage Lifter (did I mention that we also like their funky names).  Still, I never figured I would eat them. I would just admire their quirky beauty and use them to practice my food and macro photography. But not eat them. No. Never.


Finally, the black cherry tomatoes were ripe, and I had the first few tomatoes that I could dissect and put under the microscope. Then, strangely, I decided to pop one in my mouth. No one was looking. No one was pressuring me. So I ate one. And now, I eat tomatoes.

For the past week, I’ve been eyeing the first ripening fruit of our Black Krim and Lucky Tiger varieties, wondering how I would use them. Then Michelle found this odd recipe for a veggie tomato pizza with a white bean and caramelized onion puree as the sauce and tomatoes as the toppings. My 13-year-old self would call me a traitor for considering this abomination, but I’m into experimenting these days.


A cross-section of the Black Cherry tomato that made us think of the Tree of Gondor for some reason. Hmmmm.


The Lucky Tiger and Black Krim all sliced up and ready to go.


The built pizza. I apparently also eat pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds). Who knew?

I had a lot of fun with this recipe and was pre-visioning which tomatoes I would use and how I would arrange them most of the day. Our favorite, funny looking heart-shaped Black Krim was ready, and the Lucky Tigers had just ripened. I couldn’t wait to harvest and slice them. This is the end result and another addition to our meatless Monday rotation.


Time for dinner!

By the way, I still hate tomatoes, and this hilarious video from Vanity Fair defining heirloom tomatoes explains why. I almost gag when I see the cotton-y tomatoes in line at Subway. I’ve gone from tomato abstinent to a tomato snob in the course of one month.  I guess I’m a tomato hipster. We won’t talk about blueberries.

All images ©2016 by David Garber

The Ritual Bidding Adieu to DragonCon: AKA, mmmm Brisket

DSC02591-Edit-EditAlas, the Council of Dragons has drawn to a close, which means that it is time anon to prepare the most royal of sacrifices, tender breast of Dragon. This ritual owes its roots to the deepest and most western territory of the kingdom and has been passed on through the generations to the latest great mage of sacrificial preparation, Aaron Franklinus of the wizarding tradition of central Texas.

The grand tome of preparation can be found in the mysterious Chronicles of YouTubus, presented by the high mage himself:


Breast of Dragon

The latest sacrificial breast of dragon rubbed with elvin spirit crystals and ground charred orc bones.

After carefully trimming the suet of the beastly villain, the Great Geektographer concocted the mixture of equal parts Elvin spirit crystals and coarsely ground, charred Orc bones, which the Great Geektographer hath deftly applied to the dragon’s flesh, setting it aside to cure.

In the meantime, the Geektographer built a fire in his colossal verdant furnace, using coals from the very tree that birthed

Colossal Verdant Furnace at Sunset

The Colossal Verdant Furnace at sunset.

Thorin’s mighty Oakenshield. The dragon’s flesh has become tough through years of guarding his golden stash and marauding the nearby villages. It must therefore rest in the colossal verdant furnace for no less than half of the rotation of Middle Earth.

At the appointed time the preparer of the Dragon sacrifice will remove the beast’s now tender flesh from the colossal verdant furnace and combine it with stewed dragon’s blood, serving it to those who keep faith in the magical power of feasting.DSC06194
Thus endeth the ritual of the Dragon Feast at the close of the Annual Council of Dragons. In the days and weeks to come, a full account of the 2014 Council of Dragons will appear. Until then, nom nom nom nom nom nom.