by Carol A Westbrook
Summer is finally here, and nothing says “summer” more than biting into a sweet, ripe freshly-picked tomato, still warm from the sun, eaten with a pinch of salt. The variety of tomatoes is incredible; from sweet 1-pound beefsteaks, delicious eaten raw, to plum tomatoes for canning and sauces, to colorful cheery cherry tomatoes, adding a spot of color to salads and crudities.
Even green tomatoes, stubbornly refusing to ripen at the end of the season, have a use in salsa, or simply or breaded and fried.
The best way to a sweet tomato is to grow your own. I have fond memories of my father’s garden patch in our Chicago yard, where he tended about a dozen tomato plants of several varieties. On warm days in late August I’d walk through the garden with a saltshaker, pick a perfectly ripe tomato, shake on some salt, and dig in, sweet warm tomato juice dripping down my chin. We four kids pitched in, tilling the soil, setting out the plants, weeding, and keeping an eye out for those plump, ugly, disgusting caterpillars, that could devour an entire tomato vine in a matter of hours! Read more »