Wednesday, July 14, 2010

It's Time...

Every Summer tomato-lovers everywhere wait for that first taste of vine ripened fruit. Whether it comes from your garden or you buy it at the Farmer's Market, the timetable is never certain. Something always interferes with each year's crop of tomatoes in Arkansas. Too much rain, not enough rain, too cool early on, too hot when the vines are setting blooms. We accept the reasons for the wait, but never give up.

Finally, that first garden ripe Big Boy makes it to the table. Sliced on a platter or added to a sandwich, it's a joy. You don't have to do a thing to the American Beauty, but drizzled with olive oil, dusted with coarse salt and fresh cracked pepper...it's almost too good.


In the kitchen of my childhood, the windowsills were lined with all shades of pink and red tomatoes ripening a little more each day. Pick it up and breathe in deeply the aroma of summer.

If you've never had a vine ripened tomato, you are thinking I've lost my mind about now! But if you set at Grandma's table... fried chicken, string beans, summer squash, fried okra, and cold sliced tomatoes, then you know it's more than eating just to get full. It's comfort and joy. Add a hot pan of cornbread and a glass of buttermilk and you are as close to Heaven as you can be on Earth!

* "Tomato Sandwich Spirituality" by Bro. Mel Williams of Watts Street Baptist Church, is a hilarious account of the connection of God and tomato sandwiches. Take the time to go and read and it will keep you smiling all day!
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/community/chapel-hill-news/chn-community/article87100497.html

20 comments:

  1. What a wonderful post! I also have to deal with worms on my plants when it gets very hot. They can clean off an entire limb before I know it.
    I think we ate at the same table growing up....wasn't it great? It's funny because I try to buy somewhat healthy food but when I get to the dairy, I HAVE TO have my Bulgarian Buttermilk! I loved to sit with daddy, watch tv and have a glass of buttermilk with cornbread crumbled in it!

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  2. When I was growing up in Camden, if we didn't have tomatoes from Daddy's garden then they came from Bradley County. Yesterday I bought some Sand Mountain tomatoes, which would be the Alabama equivalent to Bradley County tomatoes. Tonight we'll be having those along with fresh field peas, butter beans, silver queen corn and cornbread. I can't wait.

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  3. You're singing my song! Love fresh tomatoes. Nothing like them in this world.

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  4. Can't live without fresh garden tomatoes. We live off them in sandwiches for lunch all summer. Ours aren't in season yet. TTFN ~Marydon

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  5. This was a charmer, Joyce. Your photos are lovely as are your memories. I ducked out and read the sermon - wonderful stuff, that. Thanks for making it available to us.

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  6. I so love fresh tomatoe's!! I love any vegie from the garden actually. I'm not at all picky. I think I'm actually a closet rabbitarian!!

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  7. Aw now you are talking my language.
    Fried chicken, fried Okra, Squash, green beans ,Cornbread and buttermilk.
    Satisfying as nothing else is. I miss my garden.The dears won't let me have any for my self.
    I have to buy at farmers market.
    Better than store bought.
    Enjoyed this post greatly.
    Elsie <><

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  8. Hi, I came over from 'The Good Life'. The tomato redness drew me in. Loved the pics. We love camping, but here in Colorado we have no fireflies. Just mosquitos that carry West Nile. Yuck!

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  9. You have NOT lost your mind - - - that BLT looks to die for. I haven't had a really good "ripe on the vine" tomato yet this year.

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  10. It's like I have a twin sister....(g)

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  11. There's nothing like fresh tomatoes out of the garden. I remember when I was a kid I used to steal a tomato now and then from someone's garden and eat it. So good!! And I love tomato sandwiches!! I hope the Blight don't get the ones around here this year.

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  12. Your blog is beautiful! This is my first visit and I'll be sure to return.
    You are making me hungry and my tomatoes are still green!
    It's so nice to meet you.
    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

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  13. And I thought my family was the only family in the world who ate fried okra!
    We love tomatoes too.

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  14. I love home grown tomatoes. Those looks so fresh and yummy!

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  15. I just had to comment and thank you for the wonderful post. But not before I made myself a ham bbq sandwich and ate it while staring out at my tomato plants full of UNripe tomatoes! Shame on you! lol.

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  16. I will have to have a BLT today after seeing your tomato post. I have some vine ripened tomatoes that I purchased from an elderly lady whom I met at HEB. She had a bounty crop this year.
    It was worth the drive to her house. Pearl and her husband were raised on a farm and both in their late 80s are still farming. Bless their hearts!

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  17. Nothing like a beautiful post to bring out the readers! Up here in Kansas City, my tomatoes are not doing well. HUGE plants....no maters. I shall have to buy from the local farmer's markets. Not a bad alternative. Thanks for such a beautiful post. N

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  18. Just had to run this post again, maters are getting ripe here in Arkansas and such a treat with our meals! Thanks to all of you who commented!

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  19. I am anxiously awaiting the ripening of Farida and Jason's tomatoes. I am too lazy to grow any for myself. Also don't like tomato cutworms. Ugh. Great post, Joycee.

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