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Your Turn: From turmoil to terrific

The invasion has begun. If you are not careful, part or all of each day for the next few weeks will be spent dealing with the intruders. We brought this problem on ourselves. It is amazing that those six scrawny plants you brought home from the local garden center now control your life.

We were foolhardy this year and adopted 12 little plants. God help those who were seduced by seed catalogs and successfully started plants from seeds. You just don’t have the heart to let some of them go; they are all your babies.

We have pinched them back, tied them to the stake and caged them. Doesn’t matter. They have now taken over your kitchen and mine and they keep coming. It’s like you invited four family members from New York for a weekend, and they invited their neighbors and they invited some people they went to school with 40 years ago.

And guess what. They bring fresh tomatoes and some zucchini from the farm stands on Long Island. There are numerous varietals, from the common Early Girl to the revered heirloom, round or egg shaped, or teasingly like a grape. If you have a home garden, you probably have too many tomatoes, and you are searching for ways to use them.

If you Google tomato recipes you will get 540,000,000 results in half a second. When you perform the same search on the Ledyard Libraries catalog you will be blessed with 470 titles in 12 seconds.

Some of these titles stray from the problem at hand but would be fun to peruse. There are a gazillion recipes out there, probably the same as the number of seeds in a couple of Beefsteak tomatoes. From tomato bread to tomato wine, my husband and I have tried many of these recipes.

Sometimes we ask ourselves why.

Do not allow those tomatoes or those uninvited guests take over your kitchen table so that you cannot find a place to sit down to eat. Show no mercy.

Start with the shapely Roma tomatoes. Chop, grind, simmer, add some seasonings and you are transported to Sienna for the best Sunday sauce.

Maybe you have some 2019 vintage tomato wine. Tomorrow corral all the extras (tomatoes, not New Yorkers) and bring them to your local food pantry. Share the love apple, and you will gain some space on your kitchen table, just in time for the next wave.

Salsa anyone?

It has recently been reported by United Way that one child in every five in New London County faces hunger. Think of the smile on a vegetable-suspecting 7-year-old’s face when he tries chocolate tomatoes.

You have changed his mind, you have changed his world.

Claire Murphy lives in Ledyard. She can be reached at

Your Turn is a regular feature in The Times. To contribute, email


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