Friday, May 30, 2008


The Tomato.

The world's most perfect food. You can eat it with anything, you can broil it, you can sauce it, you can eat it straight from the garden. My husband always asks me what my favorite food is - my reply - "tomato". I'm told that this doesn't count because it's not a "dish". Whatever. Why would you add anything to perfection?

The absolute best way to enjoy the ambrosia of a fresh homegrown tomato is sandwiched between two slices of freshly baked white bread. Slather on a little mayonnaise and a dash of salt and pepper. Done. This is my definition of comfort food.

When I was little and stayed with my grandparents, I was notorious for requesting "mater-maters" during the summer months. I still get teased about it to this day. I must have some sort of inherent dietary deficiency that makes me crave these juicy fruits. Life (and summer) is not complete without tomatoes.

My first year in the garden I tried growing some standard tomatoes - I think I ended up with a Better Boy and a Roma. Due to size restrictions on the balcony, I don't think they had enough root room, and therefore didn't produce that well.

Last year I branched out - I gave the Roma another try, but I added Grape and Cherry Tomato plants. While the Roma continued to be mediocre, the Grape and Cherry were the stars of the garden. They produced handfuls of sweet, poppable treats all summer long. A peek at last year's bounty:

Definitely wanting to repeat last year's success, I planted three Sweet 100 plants this year. I have never seen such healthy, dark green tomato plants. I've got them caged and they're already chomping at the bit, seeing who can grow over the top first. This past week they've started to send out clusters of starry-yellow blossoms.

I cannot wait until I'm able to amble outside and snack on some 'maters.

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