All Bad Tomatoes Are Alike Each Good Tomato is Good in Its Own Way on Menu Monday

November 30, 2015 at 2:18 pm

Eat Local Thanksgiving Follow-up

last of the last tomatoes

That’s not this year’s bad tomatoes, but I think any shot of bad tomatoes gets the idea across. We had a wonderfully local Thanksgiving centered around an amazing chunk of meat from our friends Dennis and Emily Wettstein, with all sorts of sides, relishes and locavore delicacies. And to show off, I give you a shot of rotten tomatoes, not even this year’s rotten tomatoes. These old rotten tomatoes, as you can see, had some dedicated bad spots near the top; the rotten tomatoes I faced last week were more like balloons of rotten tomato goo wrapped inside extant tomato skin. They were, I suppose, the perfect tomatoes for bringing to a political speech or such–did people really bring rotten tomatoes to events?–being just ready to burst but solid enough to be carefully carried to your target.

I showed you last week, in anticipation of our Local Thanksgiving, a platter of tomatoes. I felt fully covered for my intended salsa crudo meant to accompany the roast beef. Then, maybe even the afternoon after I made my post, I noticed at least four of the tomatoes were bad, rotten tomatoes. Those went straight to compost. I then quarantined a few others with bad parts, to keep that gunk from spreading or at least keep the rump guard of fruit flies left in the house occupied with the worst of tomatoes. I can happily report that I had enough tomatoes on Thursday to make my salsa, which, also included, obviously, enough decent jalapenos.  Were these the best tomatoes of the year?  Not even the twelve best I bet, but any local tomato still eatable at the end of November is a very good tomato for sure.  Just asked noted tomato fan Leo Tolstoy.

Here’s the full repast that came to be, with slight adjustments to what was planned:

Nibbles n’ Noshes

  • Butternut squash hummus – nice little catch her by the Condiment Queen, who spotted this recipe in our massive Lebanese Kitchen cookbook.  She used the pureed squash that came in our Tomato Mountain CSA box.  I’ll say that it did not so much as flavor the hummus but give it a lighter, fluffier texture.
  • Mix of watermelon and shunkyo radishes, both local
  • Bubbie’s pickles — garlic scapes, dill cucumbers and green peppers — all made from veggies she picked up at the Northbrook Farmer’s Market in years past
  • Roasted local beets dressed with sour cream (local), horseradish (local) and fried capers  (non-local)
  • The almost last of my local roasted peppers
  • Lentil salad with local carrots, shallots, hot peppers and goat cheese
  • Assorted Red Hen breads (younger daughter works for Red Hen)


  • Butternut squash (puree again) seasoned with Thai red curry, coconut milk, local apples, and store bought vegetable stock; garnished with spiced pumpkin seeds (unknown origin)

Main Course

  • Local brussels sprouts glazed with local maple syrup
  • Roasted local carrots, local hakuri turnips, local jalapenos, and local onions, seasoned with local thyme and local rosemary
  • Local delicata squash done agrodolce with non-local mint garnish
  • Cranberries (probably not local as Ocean Spray)
  • Mashed local potatoes done parve, so with garlic flavored oil and vegetable stock
  • Salsa verde using both local and indeterminate herbs, non-local capers
  • Salsa crudo with local tomatoes, local jalapenos, local parsley, and local tropea onions
  • Local sirloin roasted with non-local capers and dried oregano, but local rosemary and local garlic.  I made slits in the meat to shove in the herbs, capers and garlic.  Great technique.
  • Aunt Andie’s kugel – it’s parve but I have no idea the exact recipe
  • Salad with local spinach, local apples, local dried cranberries, and local shallots

Desserts – Made by Justjoan, so cannot speak to their localness

  • Pumpkin cheesecake
  • Parve chocolate jam cake
  • Nordic Creamery (local) pumpkin ice cream

In addition to ingredients mentioned above, there was non-local salt and peppers, olive oil, and vinegars used.  I mention all this to show how possible a local Thanksgiving can be, and to also show that no one has to be ashamed of their street cred in reaching out for other ingredients.  For instance, I only had so much local parsley, so I purchased non-local parsley, cilantro, and mint.  It still tasted good.


One Comment

  1. Robert Haugland says:

    Ocean Spray Cranberries stand a good chance of being somewhat local as half the world supply is grown in Wisconsin.

RSS Feed for comments on this post