Blogs > Cliopatria > Cliopatria Welcomes Nathanael D. Robinson ...

Aug 15, 2004 3:10 pm

Cliopatria Welcomes Nathanael D. Robinson ...

Cliopatria welcomes Nathanael D. Robinson to its circle. A graduate of UCLA, he has an MA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and is a student in the Graduate Program in Comparative History at Brandeis University. His interest in Modern European and comparative regionalisms now focuses in a dissertation on"The Rhineland in the Making of Modern Regionalism, 1815-1960" and in his delightful blog, Rhine River.

A native of Los Angeles, the newly invested Cliopatriarch of Boston is known, however, to hate the Red Sox only slightly less than he hates the Yankees and to prefer rabbits to chinchillas.

Ollie, I'd like you to meet Matilde. Matilde, this is Ollie. Maybe, neither of you care to know Victoria and Disraeli, but we'll all try to get along, like one big happy family.
These are not insignificant matters. Robinson could be doing comparative tomato and zucchini studies with Burke, Chana, and Howard. We call it Summer Veggie Blogging.

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Jonathan Dresner - 8/18/2004

You can see a small picture here:

It's a Brazilian tree (very shrub-like, but a tree, nonetheless) which grows very well in Hawai'i (they can get up to 20 feet, and we have one that's close and I really need to prune it) and which produces fruit not on the ends, but on the branches. Ours fruit two or three times a year.

The fruit gets to about concord grape size, with a thick skin (edible, but high in tannin, so we don't actually eat it) and a soft, pulpy flesh that tastes, to me, like a cross between a blueberry and a light-flavored grape. Mostly people just eat them straight (it's got this wonderfully addictive orality, like spitting watermelon seeds [oh, did I mention the seeds? Small ones], sucking the pulp out of the skin and spitting out the seeds, one after another...) but I've heard of folks who make jam, probably with the aid of a foley mill.

Julie A Hofmann - 8/17/2004

We have fouor varieties -- non of which we've grown before -- the above-mentioned Black Russians, Brandywines, Green grapes, and sub-arctic plenty. I hope you're right, though. It would be a shame to _only_ have them fried and green. What's jaboticaba?

Julie A Hofmann - 8/17/2004

yep -- my husband calls it pinching off -- but yep, lots of them have tomatoes on them ... I love the variety we have, though -- I highly recommend Black Russians (not the beverage), which are really more a purply-brown and very tasty!

Ralph E. Luker - 8/17/2004

By thinning, do you mean suckering the plants? That has to be done both for tomatoes and tobacco. Suckers are those unwanted secondary stems that grow out between a main stalk and a primary stem. Of course, if you've got tomatoes on the suckers that's a problem. Maybe those could be your fried green tomatoes. Dip the slices in corn meal and fry in a good oil. No pasty flour, please.

Julie A Hofmann - 8/17/2004

I think it might be a combination of having had a real hot spell and having planted too many plants too close together, so they are overloaded, and now not getting enough sun per tomato -- that and I couldn't keep up with the pinching part, so they're a bit bushy. I like the fried idea, though. Anybody know if it's safe to thin out the bushy parts at this late date?

Jonathan Dresner - 8/17/2004

Maybe it's like our fruit trees: ripening slowly, then all coming ripe at once. I'm going to have to pick and juice about a hundred lemons in the space of about ten days when our tree finally decides to turn, and the jaboticaba keeps ripening and dropping when I'm not looking.

I know tomatoes aren't really supposed to be that way, but perhaps you've got a variety that's like that?

Ralph E. Luker - 8/17/2004

Have you tried fried green tomatoes? The threat of frying might ripen the others out of shere fright.

Julie A Hofmann - 8/17/2004

OK -- now I'm worried about my tomatoes. I have gazillions, but they aren't getting ripe. Everything else is going like gangbusters -- except the zucchini. I'm only getting enough of them to keep me happy, which pleases my husband no end. But my tomatoes aren't ripening fast enough!!!

Derek Charles Catsam - 8/17/2004

Well, a fascination with small, furry animals coupled with a hatred of the Red Sox leads me to certain not so gracious conclusions. That he hates them slightly less than the Yankees is small succor. I nonetheless welcome him to the HNN blogosphere while at the same time wishing upon him blisters every time he posts!
Go Sox!

Hugo Schwyzer - 8/16/2004

What is it about UCLA historians and small, furry animals? One wonders.