When I was a kid my mom used to tell me stories about her tomatoes. Her excitement would make me drool. When she’d tell these stories, as with everything, I created my own mental pictures of the tale she was weaving.
In the early 1970’s, a few years before I was born, there lived an enchantingly beautiful woman. Stunning in any light. Long dark hair, radiantly golden skin, and piercing brown eyes. She had a heart and smile that could charm even the coldest of spirits. She was in her mid twenties, beautiful beyond all measure, and she lived in a Fortress of Gold.
She was young and married to a soldier that guarded the gold and her fortress. They had a little child, who like her mother, was sweet beyond all measure, and loved by the couple immensely.
|That’s her, the enchantingly beautiful woman. And her soldier is standing next to her.
He’s disguised as a Groovy Cat.
During the day while the child slept, and the soldier kept guard, she would pass her time by digging in the dirt. She planted all sorts of flowers and plants and vegetables. And because of her kindness and love, her plants always did very well. Plumping up, reaching out, and becoming strong and virile vines.
|Kinda like these here plants.|
One day she decided to plant tomatoes. She placed one tiny tomato seed into the ground right outside the entrance to the gates. She placed another right next to it, and covered it with dirt. She watered them, and fed them, and loved them. And not surprisingly, the plants grew ever so green, and strong and healthy. The vines grew tomatoes the size of baseballs with crimson red flesh, and juicy, seedy meat. Sweet, tender, juicy, fruit.
She smiled in delight at the bounty that she had. And she never took for granted the blessings bestowed upon her. The family ate what they could, and gave away what they couldn’t eat to eager friends and family.
|From my garden.|
As her gratitude continued to grow for the many blessings in her life, so did her tomato plant. It grew, and grew, and grew until it grew taller than her child, herself, and her soldier. Soon it scaled the lengths of the highest towers, always bearing the most precious fruit that was to be eaten, devoured and appreciated.
One day, when the air grew colder, and the winds rolled in, the plants began to fade. But they dropped their seeds, into the ground and in the heart of her unborn child, and those seeds have born fruit for the 35 years since.
|Me, the unborn child who is now born, standing fully erect (I’m 5′ 9″) next to my tomato plants that are gargantuan.
My mother’s seeds continue to grow.
- – – – – – – – – – – – – –
- My mom used to tell me that story. Or some derivation of it. Never once did she say she was beautiful, or lovely, or kind or sweet. But she is. And she was.
- Both my sister and I were born in Fort Knox, Kentucky. That Fortress of Gold.
- My dad was in the army. He was her soldier.
- My older sister Daphne, 5 years my senior, was the kid in that story.
- And I, only a seed in my Momma’s belly.
Her story wasn’t as elaborate as mine. But it’s what I’d imagined as her velvet voice sang to me of her Kentucky tomatoes.
That’s why I think I love tomatoes so.
That’s probably why I grow tomatoes today.
That’s probably why I’ll grow tomatoes always.
It’s one of the many reasons why I love my Momma so.
Simple Tomato and Cucumber Salad
I kid you not. My children “sqquuueeeeeaaaaaallllll” in delight when I make this salad. And I make it a lot this time of year. The oldest only eats the cucumbers. The second oldest mainly the tomatoes. And the 4 year old scarfs it all down. If there is any juice left over, I quickly lap it up. It’s simple to make, made with clean, fresh flavors.
Today I tried out a new olive oil (California Grown Three Olives Extra Virgin Olive Oil) in my salad. A good way to taste the oils true flavors. It’s a mellow, light tasting olive, not at all peppery, which allows for the best of the fruit to shine through. The oil is made from olives that are strictly California grown and produced, and are unfiltered for optimal flavor and low acidity. To find out more about this new olive oil, visit http://www.theartisanalkitchen.com/
* The Artisanal Kitchen sent this product to me for review.
Retail price is $18.99 for 1 liter bottle.
Cost to me: Free
Tomatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
Cucumbers, cut into bite sized pieces
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Olive Oil (I used The Artisanal Kitchen’s Three Olive’s 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
Red Wine Vinegar, to taste
1.) In a large bowl add tomatoes and cucumbers. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
2.) Drizzle with olive oil, and vinegar. Mix. Let sit for 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to mix. Then.. . . .devour.