Ode to the Tomato


This morning I got 5 beautiful tomatoes from my "Early Girl" patio-style tomato which I potted to, in fact, get "early" tomatoes.  Nothing brings me more joy from the garden.  However, Early Girls (which sadly, I did not get in very early) are the type they "breed" and sell in grocery stores.  They are quick and to the point and don't get very big, but turn close to real red – so, commercially speaking – ok, it is a tomato.  The fact that they are home-grown makes them better, though, way better.

I have 2 other tomato plants which will, within 2 weeks, be dropping the reddest red, juicy, incredibly full-flavored fruit into my life by the bushels for what I like to call the season of "Tomato Heaven."  The other 2 are a Beefsteak variety and an Heirloom tomato, which, though prone to disease (so far so good, though), will produce the most flavorful tomato in a 25-mile radius this year!  I am certain of it.

I am sorry for you if you think that those very thin, rubbery, barely pinkish-peachy transparents slabs on your fast-food burgers are tomatoes because they are not.  A real tomato is one you labor over and fuss over and watch daily.  You make sure above all other things in the garden that it gets water and food and tender care and prayer and you'll fight the dreaded hornworm to the death to protect your little babes.

Earlier this week I had my first summer of 2007 tomato sandwhich.  The whole Rhoades clan had come for a reunion here in Colorado and Dave's youngest sister, Debbie, brought tomatoes from her garden in Kansas.  They were huge and juicy and better than steak, I am telling you!  My family asked, "What's for dinner?"  And I am sure they couldn't understand my excitement when I said, "Well, I am toasting this whole grain bread and having a tomato sandwich.  What are you having?"

Dave was like, "What all goes on it?  Is it a BLT?" 

"Kind of," I replied.  "It's a BLT without the B or the L." 

Because here is the recipe for the simplest, most wonderful sandwhich ever: toasted bread, Miracle Whip, generous salt and some black pepper with thick slabs of blood-red tomato….oh yes.  But please, do not try this without a homegrown or farmstand tomato, people!  Don't even try to go there.  Seriously…

Hope your summer is fruitful!…Jeanie

NOTE TO SELF:  Another tomato sandwich – today!

12 thoughts on “Ode to the Tomato

  1. Oh Yea, I can remember my first tomato sandwich. It was when I was in high school. I was at my best friends house during our lunch break when she started to make a tomato sandwich. I thought she was crazy. Then I tried it, WOW THE BEST THING EVER! I haven't had one in a long time and my tomato plant was planted late, so I still wait… Cant wait to sink my teeth into one. yum   Pearl

  2. Sounds great – but homemade bread makes it the best sandwich ever.  Keep Tristan away from your plants. If we didn't watch him when he was little, he'd eat all the ripe tomatoes and there would be no wonderful sandwiches!

  3. Hey, Cheri!  I have the same situation with Gavin right now!  Ha!  Some of YOUR homemade bread would be AWESOME, Cheri!!!

    Amanda…I have come to love true mayo, as well.  I had to mature to mcome to that.

    Pearl, you KNOW I'd love the bacon but my allergies make me swell up so Dave won't let me.  It's lucky I love the 'mato so passionately!

  4. Theres no such thing as a good tomato. Can't stand the little red balls of seeds and slime. I flick every bit of them off what ever dish their on.

  5. Mmmm… we had BLT's a couple of weeks ago.  Well, I had a BLT.  Jim and Aaron both had a B and Kaity had a BL.  I am lucky enough to not have to share my tomato's if I don't want to!  Nobody else in the house likes them.  Fools!  I planted a grape tomato plant this year also.  They were the first ones to ripen and was that ever a glorious salad that day!  And after seeing the plant I now know why they are called 'grape' tomato's.  I thought it was their shape but they also grow in clusters like grapes! 

  6. Jeanie, Oh Jeanie….I am celebrating with you! I planted my first ever, yes in my entire life, small "salsa" garden in a small wooden box in my backyard. Just tomatoes, banana peppers, jalapeno peppers, and onions. I am in love with my garden. And the grandest moment happened about two weeks ago when I picked my very first tomato. It was huge, red, and well…there are just not words to describe the moment. I made all who were home with me, (which happened to only be Joe and Corbin) celebrate as well. Corbin, who at first said a very hearty yes to a BLT for lunch then declared no "T," quickly changed his mind when he saw my face. Much to his surprise, he was pleased as punch with his BL and T.  He even went as far as to hug me and say "Mom, that was a really good tomato." Oh, seriously, it was the highlight of my summer! Now, at this very moment, I am getting ready to prepare my first batch of salsa from my salsa garden (hopefully it will make it to the reunion). Thirteen, wonderful tomatoes. I walked in my kitchen last week and saw a couple of tomatoes sitting on the counter in my favorite yellow bowl and I told Joe "they make me smile."

  7. I LOVE BLTs!  I love fresh tomatoes.  I love anything fresh from the garden.  Unfortunately, in our home, I am known as The Black Thumb.  If I touch it, it dies.  :(  Hubby keeps us stocked, though, with cilantro, tomatoes, peppers, mint, rosemary.  He's got the green thumb, for sure.  Sometime you'll have to come by for his awesome tomatillo-lime salsa.  Nothing better on the earth… except maybe a tomato sandwich.  :)

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