I was going to dig up the tomato vines yesterday afternoon. I took a nap instead - it seemed like a better idea. There are still tomatoes out there.
They need to come in, sure - it's getting down in the 50s in the evenings now, and they're not going to get any riper out there than they already are. In the house, in the basket, they'll turn red and be reasonably tasty, although not so much as the earlier ones that ripened on the vine. Still better than your average supermarket tomato.
Tonight, I used up the last of what's already in the house. It's just me on Mondays - Ed is off playing Dartball, Mitch is either at work or with Ed, Bri is either at work or across the river at her "home away from home." It's quiet here - me and the dogs and no one else, and I can talk to them or not. They don't care much either way, as long as I'm not yelling. Monday is my evening to do as I please.
That's not to say I don't get to do as I please the other six days a week. When we dine out, it's this inevitable skirmish: "Where do you want to go?" "I don't know, where do you want to go?" "I picked last time. You pick." "I always pick. You pick." And usually, I end up picking (although I really don't know, at least half the time).
And we have way too many TVs in this house. The upshot of it is that Ed usually ends up watching a ball game in the bedroom, Mitch watches Comedy Central or the Cartoon Network downstairs, and I sit in the kitchen and either watch one of the handful of shows I watch or don't turn the TV on at all. "Big Bang Theory," "Criminal Minds," "NCIS," "Cold Case." Rachel Maddow, if I'm in the mood. "House Hunters International" when I think of it. Otherwise, the computer is set to streaming on WFPK or playing one of my playlists on Playlist.com.
So, yes, I do as I please a lot of nights. But Monday nights, I just do. I don't have to think about it, don't have to consider what the others will eat - or when. I don't get lured away for a run to the Homemade Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen... (Yeah, I know. It's a hard life - what can I tell you?)
So tonight, I had the luxury of spending nearly an hour peeling, seeding, and chopping the last really fresh tomatoes. I had time to separate them by variety and seed them into three different bowls, each labeled for next season. We have Joe Thienamans, Hungarian paste, and what I've decided to call Volunteers of Amerika - the hardy, small but meaty little guys that came up in between two of the varieties we planted on purpose.
Then I chopped them and threw them in a skillet with their juice, a little olive oil, and a whole onion, peeled and quartered. Let them simmer for about half an hour, and I'm eating them over 5-cheese ravioli with a chunk of French bread left from last night's beef stew. The first bowl had smoked gouda layered between the pasta and the sauce. This bowl is just pasta, tomatoes, and onions. Oh, and about a teaspoon of minced garlic and a splash of Malbec from the bottom of my wine glass before I poured a fresh glass.
Later, I'll prop up my feet, sitting crossways in the armchair that's in the corner by the big window, and I'll crochet while watching "Big Bang." Right now, though, my taste buds and I are going to enjoy one more nearly-autumn wallow in the glory of September tomatoes.