In Love with Nature’s Bounty – Tomatoes for Rosemary & Chili Ketchup
I’m back home, in Brighton, after spending two lovely months in Lebanon. I am always so torn between where home lies for me. I feel I belong here and there and I love each place for entirely different reasons. When I’m here I want to be there and when I’m there I want to be here. Now, if I could just get it right…
One of the very wonderful aspects of Lebanon that I cherish so much is the natural bounty that abounds. Lebanon is a very blessed country in that respect. And, as a family we are very blessed to have our own little piece of that bounty, growing and supplying us with all the wonderful tastes of the rich summer season. When I’m in Lebanon I truly know where my food comes from and the very hands that tended it with care and love. Working with produce that is local or homegrown and that has been endearingly cooked from scratch, conjures one of the best feelings in the world.
Our farmlands in the village have been passed down for generations. My grandfather, whilst a very accomplished Lawyer working in Beirut, never left his land bare and every summer he was back to nurture it. My father learned to do the same, even built a farm during the civil war and now he passes his knowledge on to my brother. And so these very tomatoes were skillfully grown by my brother. We don’t call him tomato boy for no reason.
Every week for the last three weeks big carts of freshly plucked, sun-kissed, plump tomatoes have made their way into our kitchen. There really is something romantic about a homegrown tomato and I do love it in the simplest of forms; for example try tomato slices sprinkled with a little salt, sumac and a drizzle of olive oil. And then when you need to hang on to them for a little longer well they can be beautifully cherished in a bottle.
For this month’s Blog of the Month, I have chosen Jul’s Kitchen written by the sweet and bubbly Jul’s herself from her Tuscan kitchen. I was lucky enough to have had the pleasure of meeting her in person and she’s as wonderful as she seems on the blog. Head on over there, where you’ll find beautiful photography, luscious recipes and pleasant stories. I know you’ll enjoy it.