Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Tomatoes


You know how they always tell you to write what you know?

Well at this particular juncture in my life... I know tomatoes.

As the heat index dwindled from triple digits to still-sweltering doubles yesterday, I stepped outside wearing my pickin' apron. The weekend was full of fun away from home, so it had been a few days since I'd explored. I started picking. Once my pouch was full, I emptied my goodies and went back for more. I picked 73 tomatoes yesterday, y'all.

Seventy-three.

As I walked through the weedy ditches between rows, avoiding errant branches and cringing at the *POP* a green tomato made beneath my boot, I noticed the wear of late July. Entire plants were falling over, branches were yellowed and withering, and a lot of my picking was done directly on the soil. Still, they carry on. Blossoms fight the unavoidable heat exhaustion and new tomatoes are visible job security for my chores.

Every morning before work I ask my husband if there's anyone he'll see today who would be interested in a bag of homegrown goodness. My mom's peddling for me on Facebook and my out-of-state cousins are jokingly asking for Fedex packages {don't think I won't resort to it}.

Although this sounds like an official tomatoes-are-coming-out-of-my-ears rant, I love it. There is nothing, I will repeat, nothing that beats the flavor. My Arkansas Traveler plants are giving three-bite pink orbs and my Cherokee Purples are all bigger than my hand. The flavor profile {oh yeah, I'm going there} ranges from deep and smoky to extra sweet and they all have been perfect sliced and sprinkled with salt.

I dropped off a bag of treasures to my friend Alicia on my way into town today and she has big plans for sauce. My mom bought some fresh mozzarella and paired it with deep-red slices and a few leaves from my basil plant. It was delicious. These fruits I have waited for since late spring have topped sandwiches and burgers and seven layer dip. And best of all, they delight my soul.

That unmistakable scent mingles with the bright basil when I walk the rows and brush against a tomato plant. Spying a ripe one hidden by the gnarls and knots of old branches makes my day. The satisfying twist-and-pull on a day's harvest is the therapy I need after sitting at a desk all day, and it gives a clarity to my mind that has yet to be matched.

This afternoon I walked out to see if any green toms had turned over night. I picked 27 tomatoes, y'all. Twenty-seven.

In closing, if you or yours live in or near Howard or Hempstead county and you're looking to buy some homegrown tomatoes, find me on social media and let me know.
Have a lovely Tuesday evening!

2 comments:

Ami M. Lee said...

I loved the imagery throughout your post. If it's as if I could smell that distinct tomato vine smell. I could taste the juicy tomatoes. What a beautiful post.

Jessica Bauer said...

Thank you so much, Ami! :)