A Taste of Summer


On a busy day, my go-to breakfast is fruit and nuts. I’ll grab a banana or a few dried apricots and a small measure of almonds, macadamias, or pecans. It appeals to my primal side and keeps me going until I have time for a proper meal at lunchtime.

Sadly, one day the bananas and dried fruit were all gone. Looking out on my back porch window pondering what to do, I noticed a bunch of pear tomatoes ripening in the sun. These are my heirlooms, which remind me of little yellow Christmas lights. They have tough skins to ward off insects, but sweet interiors, far sweeter than any commercial tomatoes.

Yeah, yeah, you hear it all the time from tomato growers. The ones you buy at the store bear no resemblance to those grown in your own yard. I grew up listening to this malarkey from my folks, heard it repeated by my in-laws, and then from my older sister, my landlord, and everyone I met at the farmer’s market. Not that I cared. I didn’t like tomatoes. Hated them, in fact.

That all changed a few years ago when I got a volunteer in my compost pile. A “volunteer” is what happens when the seeds of last years vegetables decide to survive the composting process and sprout the following year. A couple of cherry tomato seeds did just this . . . in Autumn.

Well, I have a soft spot for orphans, so I took the little plants inside and nurtured them over the winter and darned if they didn’t reward me with cute little cherry tomatoes the following January. What else could I do but try one? I did and it was surprisingly good.

My husband, impressed at my achievement, dropped hints that a few fresh tomatoes would be welcomed on his menu. This worked pretty well as I also have a soft spot for big, cuddly men to whom I happen to be married. We picked out a few Cherokee Purple tomato plants and I fell in love with their dark foliage and purple fruit, but they didn’t produce much. Last summer just wasn’t a very good one for tomatoes.

This year is a different story. I’m picking tiny yellow pear tomatoes every few days, and some of my other vines are producing as well. At any given time, there are usually a few tomatoes and a bunch of greens and herbs available.

So it came to pass that I looked out the window at my garden and decided that since tomatoes are technically fruit, they would be fine with a handful of sunflower seeds for a quick breakfast. That turned out so well that the next day, I had a larger tomato. It was almost as sweet as a regular fruit.

What does summer taste like? Well, that’s my nomination. What would you describe as the flavor of summer?

ROW#80 Progress Report

I’m about halfway to being caught up on formatting Hunt Club for print. I’ve studied the guidelines, taken notes, and am about to start the actual process of setting it up and giving it yet another proofread.

My promotional time units have been credited, but there are big gaps on my work tally. These need to be filled up with work on my next novel. I like to think I’m putting them off so I’ll have a big block of time to work in a more focused way. This may not be a bad idea, actually. My mind seems to focus better on marathons of a single goal. Changing gears to do several things does not come easy. Perhaps I’ll experiment with attempting blocks of three or four hours on one project at a time. I’ll report how it goes next check-in.






3 thoughts on “A Taste of Summer

  1. What a yummy sounding breakfast! And I, too, am married to a big cuddly man.

    One thing to be careful with when it comes to volunteer tomatoes is the risk of nightshade, which looks almost identical, and is why American colonists didn’t eat tomatoes. Odd, the things you remember, isn’t it?

    Large chunks of time for one topic sounds like it’ll work well for you, if you like one project at a time. For me, the only real way to harness the energies of my huely wandery mind is to give it all kinds of different things to do, and dance between.

    One of the coolest things about ROW80 is the way it lets us all discover what’s best for us! =)

  2. *Smiles* Shan is making it sound a bit more frightful than it is.

    Nightshade is the family name for all these plants (including tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, some peppers, etc…) So, yes, they are similar in appearance, but not THAT similar.
    https://en.wikipedia.org)/wiki/Solanaceae (a good jump off point for more research)

    So-called “poison/deadly nightshade” really does not look much like the average tomato plant. For one, it is a perrenial as opposed to an annual. No real vine structure… very different flower shape, etc.

    The “horse nettle” (what my grandmother called a “wild tomatoes”) plants to volunteer themselves a lot in tomato patches (and they have vicious itchy needles all over their leaves, giving them the “nettle” name, even though they aren’t actual nettles). No one would mistake them either once they touched the plant… though they do look a lot like tomatoes on first glance.

    Guess the point is… they thought the volunteers were nightshades because they WERE nightshades, but then, so are petunias. They’re likely safe. (Sorry, had to use my botany degree somewhere… as well as all those years on the farm picking tomatoes–see, I grew up on a “truck farm” and know exactly what you mean about tomatoes… I NEVER buy them in the store, or almost never…. last year was a horrid year for them)

    And … as well as a yummy breakfast (tomatoes ARE fruit, so they count too)… you’ve gathered a method of working toward your goals that works for you.

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