I Say Tomato

I’ve got some more posts on tap, but I’m tired right now after dealing with our garage sale all day. I hear more and more stories about people losing tomatoes to the blight- including, horrifyingly, our immediate neighbor- but so far ours are soldiering on. To celebrate what might be an all-too-brief luxury, we’re diving into our pink brandywines every night for dinner, dressing them with just a bit of crunchy salt, olive oil, basil, and a twist of pepper. Milo and I had a tomato tasting before dinner, trying them with combinations of basil, thyme, soy sauce, with and without salt, etc., and he really got it; like most kids, he loves all things tomato, but the level of complex, decadent richness in perfect just-picked homegrown heirlooms registered with him in a profound way. It’s a taste he’ll never forget, and will be the baseline for everything else in the future.

Don’t let the light color fool you- they’re pink, but incredibly tasty. And our cucumbers are also luxuriating in the recent heat, so every day we have some of them to look forward to as well. I actually succession planted them in the hopes of extending pickle season a bit this time around. We’ll see if that actually works, but the pickles so far have been very good.

This evening these commingled with BBQ chicken legs, brown rice, pesto made with basil and frisée, and extra BBQ sauce on the side. Plus a 2008 Raffault Chinon rosé, which is on sale at a nearby place and for $12 will totally lap-dance with this kind of food. But, you know, in like a totally classy way.

10 comments to I Say Tomato

  • denise

    I'm really wanting a plate of tomatoes right about now. Why didn't I go to the market this morning? Darn… Is this home-grown basil too?

  • lisa

    There's nothing like learning what a tomato should taste like, and too many kids are missing out on that. Great lesson! Makes me want to grow my own next year. (Tomatoes, not kids.)

  • Zoomie

    Maybe it's that your tomatoes are heirloom varieties that keeps them strong against the blight and your neighbors are growing more modern varieties? But, interestingly, the brandywines out here are dark, dark red, as their name might suggest.

  • peter

    Denise: Yep. I've got half a bed of it just about ready to be made into a trough of pesto.

    Lisa: Growing your own is what it's all about.

    Zoomie: We can get the dark ones too, but I tried these for a change. They're huge and wonderful so far. The rest are paste and cherry, and one silvery fur from a friend.

  • denise

    Half a bed…lucky you!

  • The Spiteful Chef

    Uhhh…most kids don't eat tomatoes. They eat tomato PRODUCTS, like ketchup and spaghetti sauce and that canned ravioli shit, but they don't eat tomatoes. Milo is a culinary oddity for his age. I bet he's healthy and strapping, what with all the veg he eats.

  • Heather

    Uh, I hate to break it to you, but most kids do not love tomatoes. In fact, most kids opposite of love tomatoes except when in ketchup form. Yours isn't the barometer, he's the exception. (Oh, I guess Kristie already said this.)

    And Zoomie has it all wrong – heirlooms are fussy beyond reason half the time, which is why they're $5/lb. Yours have obviously escaped the blight because of the blood pact you made with el diablo.

  • peter

    Denise: I'd be luckier if I had a whole bed. This fall I'm expanding the garden.

    Kristie: A garden is the key to a kid who eats food.

    Blanche: Es solo que tengo un pulgar verde.

  • JennDZ - The Leftover Queen

    That looks beautiful! I love a fresh salad like that!

  • Brittany

    I have to agree with Kristie and Heather. I hated tomatoes until about 5 years ago. Your kid is wierd.
    In a good way.

    By the way- I am recovering fomr the flu and this is the first thing to look appetizing to me in 3days.
    Thank you.

Yours Truly



I'm a painter who happens to also spend a lot of time growing, making, and writing about food. I'm particularly interested in the intersection of frugal peasant cooking techniques and haute improvisation. And I have a really great personality.

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