you say tomato

My friend Doris places vines heavy with sun-ripe tomatoes first on the “thankful” lists we exchange each day by email.  Al, always the CPA, counts the round, red treasures from his garden into equal mounds so that each son receives an equal share. And as I dice one into my BLT salad, I find myself remembering my mom canning a hundred-plus jars in a single season and begin humming the old John Denver tune: “Only two things that money can’t buy, and that’s true love and home-grown tomatoes.”

My favorite Garrison Keillor story is the one where he launches a ripe-to-the-point-of-rotting tomato at his unsuspecting sister’s derriere as she bends over to pull weeds from their mother’s garden. He talks about the satisflying splat…and the subsequent chase as she screams revenge. He later admitted that it was she who targeted him, a fact she gleefully supported.

But a single Big Boy or Beefsteak would have little impact in the Italian festival known as la tomatina   Some 40,000 people are on hand in what is usually a little 9,000 person town for this one-hour food fight fueled with metric tons of tomatoes. You’re a few days too late to catch this year’s festivities, but mark your calendar for next August 29…and send us pictures.

Since my supplies are considerably smaller, I’m choosing my using wisely. And since driving down Federal Boulevard until we find serrano chiles being roasted to perfection is part of our weekend plans, this option from my fav Bobby Flay is sounding pretty darn wonderful.


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