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My Slice of Heaven

March 31, 2017

The tomato love affair started at age 12 in Washington state.  It was a Saturday.  I remember the neighbor’s house I was at, what I was wearing and the delicate lavender rose patterned dessert bowl filled with freshly chunked-up tomatoes, salted and peppered.

tomato smallI was offered a reward for helping corral their donkey.  Jose had broken the fence and was roaming our unfenced property.  I didn’t play a major role; waving my arms, chasing him back though the hole, then holding boards while they were nailed onto posts.  But I was sure my treat would involve something with sugar, maybe ice cream or pie because chasing an ass over a few acres simply exhausts ones energy supply.

So there I sat on a cushioned kitchen chair.  I was wide-eyed and proud of myself waiting for a delicacy when that bowl of tomatoes was placed before me.  The only thoughts I remember had something to do with escape.  Our neighbor, Terry, smiled at me as if she could read my mind.  She set another bowl down for herself, then got the mayonnaise from the fridge and scooped a dollop onto my “treat” and hers.

One thing instilled fear in me – my mom hearing anything about bad manners from her kids.  I knew I was in trouble. I had to eat it or suffer the wrath when mom found out I turned my nose up at something prepared especially for me.

I grabbed the fork and dug for the tiniest chunk in the bowl.  I felt eyes on me, as if a great test was being administered.  It was delicious.  I surprised myself when I asked if I could have more.  Terry chuckled and led me out the door to the tomato plants in her garden.  She let me know store bought will never taste as good as home-grown.

tomato sammich

I live in Alabama now, and to my delight sliced tomatoes are served as a side dish in some restaurants.  I have also discovered the tomato and toast sandwich.  If you go double-decker, you can use a whole medium-sized tomato.

And Terry was right. Tomatoes are always better when picked fresh from the garden.




From → Family, Growing Up, Misc.

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