WALKER'S ROADSIDE STAND (261 West Main Road, Little Compton, RI 401-635-4719) is more than a little famous for its corn and tomatoes. Or maybe it's more accurate to say Coll Walker is more than a little famous for his corn and tomatoes. Walker turned to retail to supplement wholesale about forty years ago and since then he's become a sort of rock star of produce. The accolades are deserved. Great corn is available early and late in the season and the tomatoes come in every type from what I refer to as the round red ones to the most eccentric-looking heirlooms.
But this is all well known - what's news now is that this year's abundance is available at very low prices: fifteen-pound boxes of tomatoes, so-called irregulars (in fact, my boxes held almost all perfect tomatoes) just begging you to buy. So I did, and a frenzy of sauce-making ensued. Sauce from heirlooms, sauce from round reds, etc. Now I'm pondering what I can do with fifteen pounds of peppers.
My own yard yielded hundreds and hundreds of large cherry tomatoes from last year's seeds. Dehydrating is a slow process (either at 200 degrees in your oven or in stacking dehydrator) but the result is worth the effort:
Slice the tips off the tomatoes and cut in half. Lay them on the racks (or on a cookie sheet over tinfoil) and salt lightly with fine sea salt. Rotate the trays every few hours. When the tomatoes are almost dry, but not crispy (about 24 hours depending on size of tomatoes), pile them loosely in small jars. Add a slice of peeled garlic and cover with olive oil. Store in the refrigerator. My labels say "N-Q Sun-dried Tomatoes."
On face book at www.facebook.com/pages/Little-Compton-RI/Walkers-Roadside-Stand/141950219172586
Yet Another Octoberfest - This weekend is the annual International Octoberfest at the Newport Yachting Center (4 Commercial Wharf, Newport), Saturday, noon until 9:00 p.m., Sunday, noon until 8:00 p.m. and Monday, noon until 6:00. Tickets are $20 on Saturday and Sunday, $12 on Monday. For more info call 401-846-1600.