Posted by: King Bee | June 2, 2007

What is it with tomatoes?

tomatohammock.gifI would love to be able to tell everyone that it is some amazing story, like how a tomato changed my life or cured some disease I had, but alas it is not so…You never know when a nickname is going to stick. It’s never the cute ones when they do. It is always the one that makes you cringe that you carry from your teenage years into your death. Fortunately, I have embraced the tomato stigma that has followed me around these short years on this earth.

I don’t think I can really pinpoint the time I became associated with Tomatoes. As a child, my grandmother would feed me tomato sandwiches on sourdough bread with mayo, salt and pepper. It was my favorite thing in the world. I would also east them fresh from the garden with salt. Something about their juiciness. Their flavor. The smell of a perfectly vine-ripened beefstake.

As a teenager I began ordering extra tomatoes on all of my food. We would go to Denny’s, what seemed like every night when I was in high school, and I remember the waitresses would have a race to see who could get me a plate of sliced tomatoes first without my asking. I would like to think it was a happy moment for them, or at least a distraction from their job.

Then my friend Claire bought me this great print of a boy and girl tomato holding hands and sitting on a box of arm and hammer baking soda. I loved it so much, that I began decorating my whole kitchen around it. People began giving me anything that had a tomato on it. Before I knew it, I was going out of my way to collect tomato artifacts myself. Not long after that, I started growing them every spring.

Now, they seem to be the number one thing associated with me. The interesting thing about them is they are hard to find. At least as decorative chachkis. It would probably be easier to decorate my kitchen in eggplants or asparagus. Odd isn’t it?? But it makes my collecting of all things tomatoes that much more fun, which in the end I guess is really what the whole tomato thing is about; fun.

It was a happy memory with my grandmother. It made the waitresses happy. People seem generally excited when they find something tomato to give me. I see them and I am happy. I mean really, can there be anything more to know???


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