Nothing says summer better than pulling a fresh tomato off my mom's plants on her front porch. Since I've been home on vacation in Wisconsin, I've been munching on these fruits daily--usually sliced with just a bit of salt and pepper.
Yesterday, however, we returned from a few days away and found one of her plants decimated--leaves gone, tomatoes half-eaten, and poop-like pellets everywhere. "Raccoons!" cried my mom. Later that night, as she rinsed the poop pellets off the deck, she looked at the plant again. And saw 1 inch wide, 4 inch long, bright green horned tomato worms. Five of them. The biggest worms I've ever seen outside of a tropical location. Left to their own devices, these worms can destroy a tomato plant within a day or two, and will eventually morph into giant moths. My mom bravely removed them from the plant and sent them on to the great tomato in the sky.
If hornworms haven't infested your tomatoes, you could try confit-ing tomatoes, roasted tomato, bell pepper and corn salsa, tomato pie, or this tomato onion tart.