I sat in the dry dirt, hidden amongst tomato plants straggling up their spindly stakes and there I methodically snipped yellow leaves, collected fallen green promises and our long awaited, nurtured from seed since July, first of the season, worm pierced beauties and wept with dry eyes at the devastation. My despairing thoughts drifted over fig trees not blossoming and Job's woe and visions melodramatically burned down the tunnel, sold the animals, sent the boy to school and walked away.
"Though the fig tree does not blossom, yet will I praise the Lord"
I feebly sang a rote-remembered hymn as I gathered up stray cuttings and moped indoors.
That was yesterday.
Today, while contemplating the green folds of Purple Calabash tomatoes, the untouched by worm parts, and the unripe marbles of fallen Sweetie tomatoes my tenacious thoughts drifted over movies loved long ago and treasured jars relished a few years back.
Green tomatoes with nasty bits cut away, sliced up, dipped in beaten egg and then in cornflour, salt and pepper were scrumptious fried in an olive oil and butter.
Nigel Slater, yet again, deserves all the credit for what happened next. Hope wafted through the house on the tangy spicy scent as his memorable Mixed Tomato Chutney simmered cheerfully in the kitchen.
Tomorrow, we will eat my rather greener version slathered over our very own nine-month mature cheddar on warm buttermilk bread. I know it will be sublime, the sweet tart relish compliments sharp strong cheese perfectly.