If there is one thing that embodies or defines the spirit of summer in the south for me, it is the simple tomato. Gardening is in my blood, a gift from my dad. The same garden plot outside my kitchen window has produced food for our family since about 1930 – over 80 years. Each summer about this time (give or take a couple of weeks due to the vagarities of the weather) the tomatoes I plant in April begin to produce the simple fruit on which much of my happiness is dependent.
We eat them sliced with salt and pepper and put them in all manner of sandwiches and salads. We make salsa. I eat them while I’m in the garden picking them! We And then there is the sauce. Gallon after gallon of rich tomato sauce that makes any store-bought brand seem hardly edible, cooks down on the stove and is then stored in containers in the freezer. Later, it becomes the base for pasta dishes and killer pizzas.
Twenty four tomato plants – about $10 at the local garden center. The happiness from the fruit of those plants – absolutely priceless.