While I’m not widely traveled, I have lived in several different places. I also enjoy talking to people from everywhere, hearing their customs and traditions, especially the little things. Everyone is usually ready to share traditions and stories involving food. Somehow the tastes and aromas trigger fond memories. I invite you to share “food customs” you have enjoyed in the comments here. I’ll start the game…
As a child I grew up in what I thought of as a suburban area. Now I realize most people would see it as rural and countrified. But we lived in a little subdivision, not on a farm. There were houses on every side, a stone’s throw away – the homes were not on numerous acres of land. However, my granny, a few miles away, lived in a farmhouse that my grandfather had built. She had several acres of land and (to me) a large vegetable garden. I remember being a child, standing between rows of vegetables in the bright Georgia sun. I barely dusted the dirt off a ripe red tomato before biting into it, juice running down my arm, on a hot summer day.
So I understood small farms, vegetable gardening, and country living when years later I went to Alabama to visit a cousin whose grandmother really lived in the country. I was fascinated that they ate sliced tomatoes with their bacon and eggs for breakfast. Don’t get me wrong, I loved tomatoes and my family ate them for lunch and dinner. (We would have called it dinner and supper.) But tomatoes for breakfast?
“Don’t you like tomatoes?” my cousin’s grandmother asked.
The tomatoes were so fresh from the huge garden in the grandmother’s backyard that the sharp smell of the leaves and stems lingered on the shining red skins. As we sliced them, the juice sparkled onto our plates. Beyond the window-screen insects already hummed in hot, humid summer sunshine. “Oh yes. I like tomatoes,” I answered the question, happy to have one at any time of day.
Sadly my tomato this morning was from the super market, but as those go, it was a nice one. When I heard the July insects begin to buzz while I sliced the tomato, suddenly I could smell the sharp scent of the leaves and stems, as well as the hot, humid sunshine. As I plated my food I imagined the huge garden, laden with beautiful vegetables.
PS: That’s as close to a fond thought of humidity as I’ll have. (Smiles)
Once again, I invite you to share your food traditions.
5 thoughts on “Tomato Brunch”
Its an unusual year that I do not have a veggie patch. I have always gardened in Connecticut, New York, and several spots in New Mexico. Always something to learn on what grows best-where. I always have tomatoes. I love the smell of tomato leaves. I pick some small tomatoes nearly every day, mostly the yellow pears which are my favorite. How funny that you never had tomatoes for breakfast. We always had tomatoes for breakfast. Even now, most restaurants offer a side of sliced tomatoes.
So, throwing something out there. Monsanto has trademarked many heirloom plants. If you look it up on Stop Monsanto, you’ll find the heirloom names of what NOT to buy. Save seeds of your favorite foods in the freezer and keep the heirlooms out of corporate profits.
“RC” I have trouble imagining you without a vegetable garden. But you’ve had plenty to keep you busy, even if it wasn’t as much fun.
Heirloom tomatoes are fascinating to me. I tried to grow some once, but I don’t have your green thumb. A high New Mexico wind overturned my tall planter [which wasn’t nearly as stable as I’d thought] of baby heirlooms, and I couldn’t nurse the plants back to health.
From the comments here, I’m beginning to think I was the odd person out, not having tomatoes for breakfast! LOL. All those childhood years of missing that… :o)
I remember grabbing tomatoes right from the garden, too. Sometimes I’d carry a salt shaker out. Ouch, better not do that now. I used to always eat tomatoes with breakfast. My grandma taught me to sprinkle sugar over the slices. Probably not a good idea, huh, but it does something special to their taste. I like the picture you painted with your description of “tomato eating”.
Hi Mary. Thanks very much for reading my post — and for commenting.
Sugar on tomatoes? That’s new to me, but why not? Sweet and tangy can go well together.
My grandma is from Missouri. Maybe that’s what they do there. Shrugging. Don’t get started on it though. Addicting.