Yum, it’s tomato season! Ever since my friend Tricia O’Brien published a tomato jam recipe on her blog Café Trix, I’ve been dreaming about pairing a perfect BBQ’d burger with caramelized onions, her super-juicy, savory-sweet jam, and a local cheese like Cowgirl Creamery ‘s Mt. Tam. My hips probably wouldn’t appreciate the calories, but I’d enjoy every bite! Tricia is a cooking woman with mad skills and a growing reputation as a food writer—her blog is worth the visit for delicious seasonal cooking inspiration.
So what is it about those beautiful piles of ripening fruit makes us go just a little crazy? Apparently, Christie’s husband eats no less than 10 pounds of the juicy fruit weekly during tomato season. Isn’t that amazing? Then, there’s my friend Kim Butterworth (featured in my recent Quilter Profile) who travels many miles of our NorCal rural roads with her partner Rob to find perfect San Marzano tomatoes for their homemade marinara sauce. It’s very yummy and worth the hunt, I can attest! (Thanks to Kim for the lovely photos at her local farmer’s market, BTW.)
Lest you think foodies have hijacked SHWS, I’ve figured out a way to travel back to our bailiwick—after all, we are a sewing blog. Click here for a FREE heirloom tomato pincushion downloadable pattern! Again, my caveat: I drafted the pattern in broad strokes. Use the steps simply as guidelines to design your own tomato variety.
In pursuit of a perfect tomato pincushion I started with a Google search and then conferred with a local pincushion maven, Kathy August, who sells her wares at Wooden Gate Quilts in Danville, CA. We agreed that seamed tomatoes made for prettier pincushions, but after plying many websites and blogs, Martha Stewart’s instructions for a gathered version seems like a reasonable approach as well.
Once I made my prototype tomato pincushion, I realized that indeed the seamed variation was much more to my taste. However, I suggest using the gathered approach to make a much-cuter cherry tomato to replace the emery-sand-filled strawberry that’s been such fixture with mass-produced tomato pincushions. That leads to the question: Why a strawberry over a cherry tomato?