One Week Until MAGTAG 2008!

cecilia_md7a(7a/Baltimore,MD)August 8, 2008

(Cross-post on T0mat0ville.c0m)

Yep, it's almost here. I have purchased tomato earrings to wear to MAGTAG, and plan to wear my tomato perfume, as I did last year.

I have a request to make - will anybody be able to stay to the bitter end to help me clean up? Usually things start winding down around 3:30 - the event NEVER lasts until 5:00.

In the past Greg F. and my brother Chris and family have kindly assisted as cleanup crew. This year, however, Greg has to leave early and Chris and his bunch will be returning from vacation and can't make the festival.

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I just thought of another non-food item that we need - cheap serrated steak knives to cut the tomatoes up with! I think my sis-in-law brought a bunch last year, but I don't remember whether she left them with me or took them home. I'll have to check the box in the basement.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2008 at 1:43PM
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gflynn(z7 MD)


I have some camping ones. They may be ok but not great. I will bring them in any event.


    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 12:07AM
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(Cross-posted on T0mat0ville.c0m)

Let's put together a list of who's bringing what.

I will supply all fixin's for the BLT Bar, plus various plates, napkins, and utensils, and wine. As I mentioned earlier, we probably could use some more utensils. I will supply a calculator, a food scale, and a copy of Carolyn's book. I am also hoping to have received my copy of Amy Goldman's new heirloom tomato book by Saturday, and might bring along a few other titles from my tomato library. I also will bring a few Boca Burgers, although I can't supply very many. I also will make the tip box and DH Dave and I will provide directional signs.

Dave will supply a couple pies from Dangerously Delicious, Baltimore's premier pie shop. As Rodney, the Piemaster, says, "Rock and roll and pie, baby, Rock and roll and pie!". Which reminds me - I think Dave will bring along a boom box or a DVD mix or something musical that should appeal to a wide variety of tastes (except for my Dad, who only likes classical). I think Dave's planning to bring charcoal as well, since he will be doing some grilling.

Greg F., you're bringing along home brew and lots of meat, right? And are your daughters making prizes?

I believe Janet M. said she could supply tablecloths - if this is so, Janet, can you either drop them off at my place sometime this week or come early, so we can get them on the tables right away?

We may just have a new category of prize this time if things go right - Rob Kasper, food writer for the Baltimore Sun, says he intends to participate, and if Craig from NC can make it, maybe we should have a "Celebrity/Expert favorite category."

I'm getting nervous - I have a bunch of ripe Brandywines, Mortgage Lifters, German Red Strawberries, Black Cherries, and Sungolds right now (the're going to my sister so she can make her Scalloped tomatoes dish ahead of time), but I have no idea how many toms will be ready next Saturday - pray for good weather for ripening! And while you're at it, pray for good weather - if we could have even half as nice a weekend as this one, we'll be in luck.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 5:08PM
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gflynn(z7 MD)


We are bringing meat of all sorts, some charcole, some plastic beer cups and homebrew beer; coin envelopes for seed swaping and "Best tasting tomato" awards for the top 6. These are being made by my daughters.

Certianly a copy of Dr. Carolyn's book like many of us.

and... metal knives for cutting tomatoes. Mine are kinda dull so if someone else has better then so be it.

And of course $80 of pennies for the tomato taste contest. I will bring cups for the contest and a assume we have enough sharpies?

Also it looks like my family will participate. :-)


    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 7:59AM
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(Cross-link with t0mat0ville.c0m)

More supplies we need:

- Coolers with ice
- Soft Drinks
- Bottled Water

It doesn't look like the weather will be as hot as last year; in fact temps have been running about 10 degrees lower than usual for the past week or two in Baltmore. There is a chance of showers, but we usually get the "rush hour storms" in the afternoon, so I'm hoping that if it does rain, we'll be done grilling. The pavilion is covered, and we're having this thing RAIN or SHINE. If need be, we can order pizza - or BBQ from this great little rib joint down the street from the park.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 9:08AM
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gflynn(z7 MD)


I have a Gazebo I could set up over the grill if it looks like rain. If others have them we could use them to increase our space but I don't believe we will have a problem.


    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 10:12AM
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gflynn(z7 MD)

Tomato folk,

I just purchased $100 dollars of pennies for the tomato taste judging. Thats 10,000 pennies.

Our judging scale is 0 to 3 pennies:

0- bad or flavorless
1 - good
2 - very good
3 - in my top 3

I figure that average rating per tomato will be 1.5 pennies. (no cutting pennies please). This means that:

(10,000 pennies)/((100 varieties)*(1.5 pennies/variety) = (people tasting)

hence 66 people including one pregnent women can judge without us running out of pennies.

Very nice.


    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 2:51PM
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I will also supply soap for the bathrooms and hand sanitizer for the spot-a-pot.

My copy of Amy Goldman's new Heirloom Tomatoes book arrived yesterday, so I will bring it along. It contains some of the more recently populized varieties that weren't included in Carolyn's book. Just don't anybody get tomato juice on my nice new book!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 11:25AM
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I'll be coming and will bring some bottled water with me.
I'll also bring some sort of tomato dish.
I do have some knives if we still need them.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 2:41PM
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I have been reading about MAGTAG over the past two years and I would like to attend. Since its my first time, what should a newcomer bring...I know I should bring some of my tomatoes...anything else?
I am very excited to be able to attend! Can't wait to meet all the people I see posting!
Thanks a bunch!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 8:07AM
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I told the five-year-old that there is such a thing as tomato soup cake. Now she thinks we should make some and bring it. But we won't.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 9:39AM
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gflynn(z7 MD)


Just make a cake and put a picture of a tomato on it with red and green icing. She will be happy to see it :-)


Great to hear you are comming. You may want to bring a folding chair or two but most things are covered at this point. Cecelia may differ on that so lets see if she weights in. Also, tomato dishes of any kind are always welcomed.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 10:33AM
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Drat. No MAGTAG for the Alfies. Mr. Alfie is still only on the first brake pad and rotor, with three more to go, and it's getting dark. Phooey. I'll find other uses for the tomatoes, but what am I going to do with the three-sticks-of-butter Indonesian spice cake (not involving canned tomato soup)?

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 7:26PM
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Gladys, sorry this reply is so late, but I've been spending the afternoon microwaving 5 lbs of bacon for my BLT Bar tomorrow. We will accept any food you care to bring along - it doesn't have to be a tomato dish, although those are always welcome. Perhaps a dessert? If you can't bring along anything but yourself and your tomatoes, that's fine, too. We usually have way too much food.

The weather's supposed to be great tomorrow! That should make up for last year's event, which unfortunately fell on one of the hottest days of the year in Baltimore.

See you all tomorrow! Gotta go - need to cut up an onion.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 8:36PM
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Hi Cecilia.

I wasn't sure whether I was going to finally make it to MAGTAG, but just want to let you know that I will be attending. I'm bringing a pasta salad. Unfortunately, I don't have any ripe tomatoes to bring.

Jette / Busyasabee

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 8:57AM
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lynnt(Z7 MD)

It was so wonderful to see everyone, and to taste so many great tomatoes! As I speak, the sauce I am making from the leftover cut maters is simmering on the stove, reduced by two-thirds from its starting point. The yellow maters give it such a bright color! We'll have it tomorrow for lunch, with fresh tortellini from a local shop.

Several people asked me to post the recipe for the fried-tomato dish I brought. It is a variant on a prize-winning recipe from last week's Washington Post -- I just can't leave well enough alone!

Fried Mater Sammidges -- the Sequel

3 to 4 large tomatoes
1 large container Rondelay herbed soft cheese
4 slices bacon, cooked crisp and drained, then crumbled
3 eggs, well beaten
Italian-seasoned bread crumbs
olive oil for frying

The original recipe says to slice three or four large ripe tomatoes into half-inch slices. I cut mine thinner -- maybe a third of an inch -- and used both green and ripe tomatoes (though not both in one sandwich). Layer the sliced tomatoes in paper towels to absorb the excess moisture while you are frying up the bacon. Match up slices into equal-sized pairs. Spread one face of one of the paired slices with a thick layer of the cheese, nearly 1/4", and add some crumbled bacon before closing the sandwich. I am thinking of adding a sprinkling of asiago or grated romano cheese and/or a basil leaf inside the sandwiches next time.

Put the flour, eggs, and bread crumbs into separate flat bowls. Add some salt and pepper to the flour. Dredge the sandwiches first in the flour, then in the egg, then in the bread crumbs.

Heat a thin layer of oil in a skillet. Fry first one side of the sandwiches, then the other (be careful to keep the heat low enough on the green tomatoes to cook them through before they get too dark). Drain on several layers of paper toweling. I refrigereated mine to set the cheese before attempting to cut the sammidges in to six wedges each for serving.



    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 10:35PM
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