Monday, July 13, 2009

#1 Tomato Day

#1 Tomato weighed in at a healthy 16.2 ounces.

I don't even know what to say in this post because I feel like the photos make it pretty obvious that I lost my mind this weekend because The First Tomato arrived.

*pause for stunned disbelief*

I like that I always say that as though the stork brought it to my house in a diaper.

As though it were some sort of surprise because I hadn't been prodding any tomatoes on a daily basis and cooing to them to RIPEN UP ALREADY BITCHES or anything. Even though that's exactly what I've been doing.

But since I took a million pictures (most of which I will spare you - you're welcome) and screamed a hundred times with retarded excitement and then made my favorite Tomato Worshiping Recipe, I will walk you through my favorite holiday of the year: #1 Tomato Day, just as it happened. You can feel free to scream like a maniac at any point in the reading of this post, too, because, I know, this is more exciting than any other holiday.

It's OK. You're with Finny now and I understand.

See, Bubba and I were sitting out on our patio awaiting the delayed arrival of our friends who were coming to visit us from Kansas City via the most ridiculous string of connecting flights created by man.

And since it was taking them longer to get to our local airport than it would have if they'd, say, decided to get lunch in Greece, we had some time to kill and we chose to spend that time masterminding the ultimate summertime alfresco din-din.

You don't usually hear alfresco and din-din in the same sentence, do you? That's a shame and I'm proud to change that horrible trend right here, right now.

So, obviously, Job One was to figure out what type/cut/preparation of meat we would have. Chicken was out because one of our guests has a patented hatred for all things remotely chicken and also because chicken is just not all that mastermindy. You know what I mean.

Bubba decided steaks would be the meat du jour, and because I like to be contrary, I decided I wanted lamb chops. So, because we are the ultimate compromisers, we got both so that I could have my way. Always so fair in our house.

I'll spare you the drawn out details of our decision making process through to the point where we began discussing The Vegetable.

See, when masterminding an ultimate alfresco din-din, The Vegetable is not always the exciting portion. Ususally we just say "Big Salad!" and then I go toss all the farmshare and garden bits into a bowl with whatever lettuce and we call it a night.

But then it dawned on me - do you know what would be The Ultimate Alfresco Din-Din Vegetable?



Garden fresh, hand picked right here, right now, still warm from the summer sun, Tomatoes. And then if they were made into my favorite tomato salad and left to mellow in their own juices for a while ohmygod the greatness and ultimateness would reach unconstrained proportions.

But the tomatoes...they're not ready. Or are they?

And this is when I headed over to the plants to palpate the hugish tomato which has been hanging on my plants since Day 1.

You remember? This guy whose bloom was so enormo and who has grown to be so enormo himself that I began to wonder if there'd been a mixup in the hospital because this was too big to be a Better Boy?

You remember.

Well, when I attempted to wrap my tiny lady hand around his impressive girth (WHOA PORN ALERT) to test him for doneness, he, uh, fell off. Right then and there.

Plunk. I'm done.

So, TEE DAH - we were having my favorite tomato dish for dinner. WOOOOO!

First, though, I spotted two other tomatoes hanging around under there and picked them, too. And then I took all these pictures because of their gorgeousnessocity.

My hands were at maximum capacity trying to hold all these together.

And then I picked some cucumbers, too, because they were, like, right there.

And after carefully weighing in the three tomatoes (which tipped the scales at over 2 lbs total) and cucumbers, I set to work on Finny's Tomato Salad, and then I shared it with four other people which went against every fiber of my being.

You tell me for sure, but doesn't it seem like this cucumber is smiling?

The one thing I did not share, however, was The Tonic, or so I call it, because I'm a dork.

See, when you make this salad, and toss it up and let it sit and mellow while coming in and stirring it from time to time, it generates this luscious pool of liquid in the bottom of the bowl.

A blend of fresh tomato juice, olive oil, cucumber juice, basil, garlic, salt and red and black pepper that is, how shall I say this, All Healing. And I say that with some authority because last summer when I was at death's door for no reason during the hot summer months, I made this salad, drank The Tonic and LO I healed.

So, anyway, I made this salad last night, and before serving it, I strained out a good bit of the liquid and had myself The Tonic. Which is different from my normal G&T for obvious reasons but is more healthful and doesn't make me fuck up my knitting if I drink too much.


The Tonic.

Anyway, I recommend this. Also, I think this is something people do in other cultures where they make a lot of ceviche and they call the resulting liquid "Whiskey", so I feel justified in pushing my particular bizarre beverage on you since other people in other lands do this and they don't think it's weird.

So, I present to you, #1 Tomato AND The Tonic. This is a big day.


  1. Congrats on your first ripe tomatoes! What a wonderful day! I found my first teeny, tiny green tomatoes over the weekend and am pretty happy about that.

    Also: I am just cleaning up the monumental mess I made while cooking up your strawberry jam recipe. My first attempt at canning and all of my lids sealed-yay, me!

  2. Congratulations! Yay Finny!

  3. It's a very big day indeed. What an amazing bounty you're reaping. I love that first photo of the tomato and the one where it's sitting in your hand and the one .... okay, all of 'em. Fabulous!

  4. Wow, that is the most beautiful tomato I have ever seen. It makes my mouth water....

  5. Yowsa!
    My son and I picked cherry tomatoes last night and didn't share with ANYONE!
    And I added my little effort to the craft::along pool, fyi.

  6. I love the star shape of the cukes. They are just too cute!

  7. I got my first tomato on Saturday. While mine wasn't nearly as large as yours it was very yummy and extra special becuase my parents were at my house for the 1st time in 3 years and I got to share the fruit of my labors with them! There is nothing like enjoying a homegrown tomato with the ones you love!

  8. Kris - 'zactly

    Alevin - Oh! Congrats on your jams!

    Isn't that the best sound? Hearing everything go *pop*pop* in the kitchen as they seal :)

    Kat - Thank you!

    Junie - That poor tomato had quite the photo shoot before I made him my salad ;)

    Shannon - Now that I look at it again, me too.

    laeroport - RIGHT ON. Share with no one. Great Tshirt makeover!

    Sharon - Right? I never noticed that really until this year. I always imagined them perfectly round, but they're not.

    Lisa - It does make it super extra special. Like, HOLIDAY, special. It's a holiday after all. For Reals.

  9. Holy crap, those things are monsters!

    I'm seething jealously.

  10. Oh, my mouth is watering. Seriously. Store-bought tomatoes just aren't cutting it anymore for me.

  11. Yum yum yum - soooo jealous! Seriously - that is the most beautiful tomato EVER! (Until my first one is ripe)

    I was out on hands and knees weeding the evil grass from my tomatoes yesterday, and realized that the "so big it fills the palm of my hand" tomato that's been green for so long NOW has a hint of orange to it! YAY! In another week it might be RED and RIPE!!!

    I'll be doing the Finny dance or screaming or whatever out in the yard, I'm sure!


  12. You have lovely tomatoes! =) This salad looks great and I have all the ingredients sitting on my counter. Lunch!

  13. Holy Christmas this is food porn at its finest.

  14. wow what gorgeous tomatoes. and the salad looks delicious


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