Good morning, Everyone. A clear summer day is ahead with cooler temperatures and sort-of lesser humidity. Let’s chat over a cup of coffee.
I am sitting in an ancient Adirondack chair that has been part of our homes’ patio decor for, what… decades? It is wooden with some patches of lichen, comfortable, and amazingly sturdy. I am facing the perennial garden that unfortunately took a beating from the almost hurricane (but it was really a tropical storm) Isaias. The vegetable garden took a hit as well. All but the peppers look weary. The okra stands spindly, the eggplants are dwarfed, and the tomatoes hang from wounded vines. I am mostly sad over the tomatoes. Thankfully, my sister-in-law, whose yard is behind ours, has an abundant crop.
A treasured gift of August is the tomatoes. Garden tomatoes taste like a tomato and lend their flavor to just about any dish. Store-bought tomatoes, even those with organic labels on healthy-looking vines, lack the delicate texture and always disappoint with its cardboard aftertaste finish.
Tomatoes have taken center stage in the farm stand displays. Just about each vegetable stand at the Sayville Farmers Market at the Islip Grange has glorious orbs of tomatoes. You can’t miss them. Now that tomatoes are in its zenith, I can eat them all day.
I have been sauteing tomato slices to fold into breakfast omelets. Thick tomato slices are alternated with mozzarella cheese and drizzled with a rendered fig balsamic glaze. With a dollop of fresh basil pesto added, my mid-morning or afternoon snack is satisfied.
A garden tomato sandwich with a smear of mayo or honey-mustard completes lunch. A grilled tomato and cheese sandwich is Matt’s favorites. When I cut tomatoes into wedges, add sliced red onion and chopped basil and parsley, and mix with oil and vinegar, a salad is born.
Sliced tomatoes in a fried eggplant stack (I’ll have to post an ode to eggplant soon) or topping a grill portobello mushroom completes dinner.
I have exalted the praises of tomato pie in previous posts. The beauty of this pie is that it can be eaten cold or hot. There are many recipes, but I will humbly state, with conviction, that my tomato pie is THE best.
For my birthday in October, Matt picks the largest tomatoes to stuff with lobster, celery, and mayonnaise—his version of a carb-free lobster roll, and yes, it is THE best.
In between snacks and meals are the tomatoes dried in the dehydrator then frozen in a reusable snack baggie. I call it Tomato Candy. It is great on top of a salad, too.
Now that I need a coffee refill, I wonder if there is such a thing as tomato as a tomato infused brew. Hmm.
Have a good week, Everyone. Make it great.
Big thank yous go out to Ecelic Ali for keeping the Weekend Coffee Share up and running.
Be well. Be safe. Be smart
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Antoinette Truglio Martin is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. The memoir is a wimpy patient’s journey through her first year of breast cancer treatment.