Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Ode to the Garden Tomato . . .

About this time of year you know you have hit the mother-lode of deliciousness when someone gifts you with a bag or a basket of fresh home-grown tomatoes.  Most years we have grown our own, but this year we just never got any in. Thankfully our friends did, and they are at that point now where they have so many they don't know what to do with them and are happily gifting them to all and sundry.  I would not be surprised if at church this Sunday there is a bag full of them sitting on the table in the entryway, free for the taking. 

If you ask anyone worth their salt what is one of the best things about late summer, aside from corn on the cob, they will gleefully answer "Fresh Tomatoes!"  I grew up in small towns and if there is one thing small town people appreciate above all else, it is fresh summer tomatoes, home grown, fresh picked, with the warmth of the sun still on their shiny red skins! 

I have a thing for summer fresh tomatoes.  They thrill me to no end.  I come by it naturally. In the summer time my mother always had fresh tomatoes sitting on her counter-top in a bowl. all red and shiny. She taught me to never put your tomatoes in the refrigerator and that refrigeration could ruin a good tomato. If you know any different, don't burst my bubble. 

A tomato is one fruit that will continue to ripen after it's picked and I have lived in many a house where the window-sil dressings of August came as line-ups of  garden tomatoes, in shades of red and  green . . .  a cornucopia and representation of the many stages of tomato ripening. 


My mother worked as the time-keeper in a male dominated section on the Airforce base that I spent most of my formative years living on.  Most were civilian men who had jobs doing maintenance on the many homes that the base kept to house their married personnel.  Mom was a cutie pie with a great sense of humor, and these were mostly country men who had, dare I say it . . .  light crushes on her.  Men who kept gardens and men who would gift her with bags of tomatoes (and cucumbers) in the late summer.  Mom would bring home a bag or two just about every second or third day.  We had permission to eat them to our hearts content and I learned to love eating tomatoes just like apples. They were always delicious,  with skin that snapped beneath the teeth . . .  the flesh sweet and juicy, shirt destroying.

One of my favourite summer treats however was the humble tomato sandwich  . . .  and we ate plenty of them. 

There is an unwritten law about what properly constitutes the perfect fresh garden tomato sandwich.  Longstanding rules which can't and shouldn't be broken  . . .  

First you need soft white bread.  Nothing artisanal, or organic with fifty two grains and seeds. Just plain soft white bread, and the truth is cheap white bread is probably the best.  We used to have Sunny Bee Bread.  Its made with honey, or at least that is what the commercials always told us.

 "Sunny Bee Bread is made with honey, boys and girls might think that funny, but honey makes Sunny Bee Bread so good, tastes the way only good bread should." 

Purists would say then you need mayonnaise, and plenty of it, aschewing Miracle Whip as food from the Devil himself.  Mom always favoured Miracle Whip . . . or Kraft Salad Dressing if she could get it . . .  and in all truth I would too if I could get it over here. Its what I grew up on, but I can't get either one of those and so I choose Hellman's.  

You want lots of it, more than your family Doctor recommends. Just slather it on that cheap bread. Come on, its summer and this is supposed to be a treat. What does that Doctor know about the sanctity of a Summertime Tomato Sandwich, the Holy Grail of the Sandwich Kingdom.   Calories and fat on a this sandwich just don't count, or even merit pondering about.  Just seize the moment. Carpe Diem and all that!

Salt and pepper.  Plenty of pepper  . . . a sprinkle of salt  . . .  nothing fancy.  Just thick slices of  tomato, plenty of mayo, salt and pepper on cheap white bread.  Nectar of the Gods  . . .  and a tasty bite of summer in every mouthful.  Messy to eat, but oh-so-delicious . . . 

Its 7 a.m. and I am wanting a tomato sandwich for breakfast.
And why not.  Indeed . . .  just why not.  

We went to Costco the other morning as I needed a few things that I like to have in the house.  Todd loves his morning Instant Quaker Oats with Golden Syrup.  He has a bowl of that every morning, and he squirts even more golden syrup on them before he eats them, or honey if we have a squirty bottle of it in the cupboard. I don't know how he gets away with it.  The boxes of them in the shops cost a couple of quid each and you only get about six packets in them.  It just makes sense to pick it up at Costco where you can get a box of 50 for £7, or less when it is on offer. 

I love the meat in Costco.  I am always eye-balling the Prime Rib and one of these days when I am feeling especially flush I am going to treat us to one.  Maybe when my children are here.  We'll have a nice slap up Roast Beef Dinner with Yorshire Puds and roast potatoes and all the trimmings.  I did buy a package of their Sausages . . . Cumberland Sausage . . .  my favourite kind of sausage out of all the sausages they have over here in the UK.  They are nicely spiced.  Up in Cumbria they are even better than the ones you can get down here.  But they are still good, even here.  

I was really naughty and could not resist.    I had told myself I wasn't going to be tempted by anything I shouldn't be tempted by, but this I couldn't pass up.  I love chocolate bark . . .  but with crispies and tiny marshmallows . . .  oh my.  My sister is going to have a fit when she sees this.  I promise I will only eat it in small bite sized portions.  It will last me a year in the freezer.    


Normally I pick up two bags of these  . . .  the Rocky Road is to die for, but I didn't  this time.   I thought the chocolate bark was more than enough of a temptation for me.

I do remember seeing in their bakery section, stuffed soft pretzels . . .  they looked like croissant pastries shaped like pretzels, stuffed with lemon curd and sprinkled with sugar crystals  . . .  or maybe it was just a dream.   I better go get that sandwich  . . . 

A thought to carry with you  . . . 

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•。★★ 。* 。
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˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★

Have more than you show,
Speak less than you know.
~William Shakespeare
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Crispy Sheet Pan Chicken Milanese 

In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Crispy Sheet Pan Chicken Milanese.  Yum!  No fuss, no muss!

Have a great Wednesday. The push will be on for me today to do my last recipe for this month for the knife site I write for. He needs it by tomorrow!  That's my day cut out for me!  Don't forget!

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And I do too!    



  1. Costco is a huge wharehouse of tempatations and the industrial look of it is a turn off to me.
    But the staff♥
    And the plants and flowers in season..and all the fruits and veggies in our off season..
    The meat..we eat very little but we do and we make a slew of fancy burgers and freeze..sausages..I make my spaguetti sauce..
    Paper towels..Charmin' LOL Cereals.. books..clothes.
    Yes leggings..winter coats..rain good.The last 2 times I told J go..he loves that place ad does every aisle..;)
    Pas moi.Bored stiff..They have the adorbs Bonne Maman mini jars right now:)
    I LIKE cute shops:)

    I love tomatoes.
    Love tomatoes.
    Did your friend grow those Coeur De Boeuf ones?♥♥♥LOVE your bowl!

    1. Thanks Monique! I need to make room in my freezer before my kids come so I can stock up on some meat and stuff to feed them! I have never bought any clothing in Costco, but I have heard it is good. Todd hates shopping. He just goes and sits in the cafe and reads and waits on me! The bowl is Emma Bridgewater. Beautiful yes! xoxo

    2. You lucky girl to have that bowl and those tomatoes:)

    3. I count my blessings where I find them Monique! oxox

  2. I think I've found a way to finally be able to comment on your blog. Here's hoping this works. So true there is nothing better than a homegrown tomato. I agree about the white bread but do love Hellman's mayonnaise over Miracle White. How blessed you are to have a basket full. I have one left from the farmer's market visit we made last week and will miss them when they are gone.

    1. I know what you mean about google and commenting Pam. I have had the darndest time commenting on blogs myself. Most of the time I write comments and they disappear into thin air. What have you done to make yours work? I would appreciate any advice! xoxo

  3. Reminds me of the awesome tomatoes my Grampie grew...called beefsteak!! Miss them...and HIM even moreso!!
    Your food menu for your kids coming sounds yummy!!
    Elizabeth xoxo

    1. Oh yes, love me some beefsteak tomatoes. I could just eat a plate of sliced ripe tomatoes with salt and pepper and be very happy to be honest Elizabeth! I have a sore mouth at the moment, so its a bit hard! xoxo

  4. Hi Marie, loved all your talk about tomatoes, especially that big, beautiful bowl. My grandmother lived in Essex County, the sun parlour of Ontario. We always had a platter of thick-sliced field tomators, a platter of corn-on-the-cob and a big bowl of peaches on the table at dinner during August. My dad liked to sprinkle sugar on his tomato slices followed by a splash of vinegar. You have a beautiful meal planned for your children. They are going to love it. I love Costo too but we let our membership lapse a few years ago. May just have to atart it up again. It would be very hard to resist those bags of treats you described. Take gentle care. Hugs, Elaine

    1. Ohh how wonderful Elaine. My sister used to live in Windsor and I lived in London, Ontario, as well as Georgetown. The corn on the cob was out of this world delicious! Mom always sprinkled sugar and vinegar on her beans. She said it took the snap out of them and i sitll do it myself. Love and hugs to you always, xoxo

  5. Your tomato sandwiches are just the way I grew up with them and we used Miracle Whip exclusively in our home. My husband loves gobs of it on his tomato sandwich. ~Elaine

    1. I am with you husband, gobs of it! Its so tasty when mixed with the tomato juices! Thanks Elaine! xoxo

  6. Ok, now I want to make a run to Costco's. I love their meats a lot and Prime Rib would be a save up item for us too. I love that chocolate bark and have resisted getting them but if I can freeze them, maybe I will.
    You could have done a great add for Tomatoes. My husband remembers having the tomato sandwiches on white bread. I'm more the bacon and tomato sandwich type.
    I do love a good tomato and had a good one tonight on my salad.
    blessings and hugs for you!

    1. Its a Christmas type of indulgence is Prime Rib LeAnn! Might just do that this year! I love bacon and tomato sandwiches also, but plain old tomato are my favourite! Love and hugs, xoxo


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