Sep 292016
 

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I was invited to the Harvest Festival at The Sylvester Manor on Shelter Island one of the most glorious weekends this year.

About a dozen or so EZ-UP, pop-up tents manned by local vendors and food artisans offered up various delicacies from smoked turkey or brisket sandwiches, brick oven grilled pizza, all organic – kale, sweet potato & chic pea style soups and coleslaw to local wines, squashes, and Sylvester Manor eggs, husk tomatoes, breads, flower wreaths and cutting boards. The tents lined one edge of the farm’s ‘center field’ where a small stage was platform to a number of folk acts that played the last few hours of the weekend’s festivities.

My friend’s blanket was laid out just to the right of the EZ-UP tent where the ‘sound board’ was in the center of the ‘center field’.  As we were finishing lemonades and kettle chips and getting into our sweatshirts as the warm sun set for the day when another friend showed up w/a brown paper bag half full of husk tomatoes, grown on The Sylvester Manor farm. No sooner had he sat down when I had one of these yellow marble sized morsels pinched from it’s husk in my mouth. OOoos, ahas and yums drifted and filled our space as hands of adults and kids dove into that bag with little restraint.

Husk Tomatoes or Ground Cherries look like a mini heirloom tomatoes but taste like a cherry and tomato mixed into one bite. Pretty Dlectable if you ask me. Immediately I thought to myself, “this would make one killer tomato jam.” One of my all time favorite delicacies.

Concerned that the two pint baskets I got would yield very little I thought adding my next favorite delicacy, Peppadews, would bulk up the yield while also adding so much to the flavor and body of the jam on a whole.

After photographing these most gorgeous and interesting husk tomatoes or ground cherries for way to long I got that sauce pot on the stove.

What I used:

2-3 T of olive oil – enough to coat the bottom of a pot with a thin coating of oil.

1 T mustard seeds

1 t of red pepper flakes

3 good sized garlic dents – minced & sliced

2 baskets of Husk Tomatoes – husked & washed – some cut in half

6 – 8 Peppadews – sliced and good splash of their liquid

1/2″ fresh ginger root – finely grated

2T tomato paste,

1-2 T sugar and or maple syrup.

What to do:

Add the red pepper flakes, mustard seeds, garlic and ginger to the olive oil heating over a medium to low heat to infuse the oil with these savory flavors. Then I added the washed husk tomatoes and the sliced Peppadews and their liquid. Stir well, lower the heat.

If the mixture might be to spicy which it was the first time I made it, it can be toned down by added the juice of a wedge of lime, a bit more sugar or the maple syrup.  I also added some freshly ground nutmeg*

*Nutmeg is hardly a staple ingredient but I keep it around because a sangha member who’s authored a book on natural healing mentioned my using nutmeg when he noticed I was trying to suppress my cough during a Dharma teaching.

This Husk Tomato/Ground Cherry Jam is about the best conDiment to serve this time of year if you ask me. It’s a real trick or treat, sweet yet with a nice spicy bite at the same time & boy does the color work. It’s great as a topping on baked potatoes, scrambled eggs, on buttered toast of any kind, and any protein.  Make it, it’s great. A little goes a long way.

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