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Ode to Tomatoes

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Salsa and salads and sandwiches and sauces and soups.  And biting into them right off the vine; warm from the sun with a basil leaf from the plant nearby.  I want admiration for my tomatoes.  I held them up to my husband and demanded he note their perfection.  “Yeah, they are tomatoes.”  (Though he bragged later to my mother about how beautiful they were–he did notice!).  Secretly, what impresses me most:  I put plants in the ground and added water.  No other effort expended.  Grace. 

The street filled with tomatoes, midday, summer, light is halved like a tomato, its juice runs through the streets…Unfortunately, we must murder it: the knife sinks into living flesh, red viscera a cool sun, profound, inexhaustible, populates the salads…happily, it is wed to the clear onion, and to celebrate the union we pour oil, essential child of the olive, onto its halved hemispheres, pepper adds its fragrance, salt, its magnetism;

it is the wedding of the day, parsley hoists its flag, potatoes bubble vigorously, the aroma of the roast knocks at the door, it’s time! come on! and, on the table, at the midpoint of summer, the tomato, star of earth, recurrent and fertile star, displays its convolutions, its canals, its remarkable amplitude and abundance, no pit, no husk, no leaves or thorns, the tomato offers its gift of fiery color and cool completeness.  –Pablo Neruda


Yes, Scott–we’re having roast for dinner.  Don’t work late.


Shot, smuggling zucchini into mailboxes

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In honor of picked-this-morning tomatoes and zucchini from my garden, I treated myself to my favorite lunch. 

This blending of flavors developed out of a mad throw-together of foods one day when Noelle was coming over for lunch.  The collards and cabbage are boiled for 4 minutes then rinsed with cold water and chopped.  I use the leftover water to cook the grains (I cheat–it is a 7-grain blend from Kashi).  I stir fry the greens in sesame oil and season with rice vinegar, sesame seeds, and pepper.  The zucchini is stir fried in water.  By happenstance, we discovered that fresh pineapple makes the perfect pairing for the greens.  Ah, the goodness from suave reptilian glitter.