High summer

It’s the end of July and it’s high summer. Gardens are prolific and produce is everywhere! Last summer with the CSA I was getting lots of different vegetables to explore and experiment with. This year I’m focusing on favorites and experimenting with recipes.

Or, as far as tomatoes are concerned, just eating them. I love heirloom summer tomatoes. Slice and eat. Slice onto a salad. Slice into a sandwich. Pick up and eat like an apple (preferably over a sink or outside; they are very jucie and drippy.As I kept wandering the farmer’s Market this morning, I kept seeing tomatoes at different vendors that looked wonderful. So I bought  few here..and a few there….and then I went to another community farmer’s market on my way home to my very favorite heirloom tomato place, and bought even more. And one person said, this was his peak week, and volume would be lessening after this week. So could I stop buying then, knowing the season is almost halfway through?? So, when looking for corn, I found  a pineapple tomato, and some little yellow/green cherry tomatoes. So I ended up with all these beautiful tomatoes today. Can I eat them all in a week before they go bad?? Let’s see – three meals a day… I think I can…I think I can….

So..the pineapple tomato is the red and yellow one in the back left..beautiful striations when sliced. Hopefully I will remember to photograph it! There are two Brandywine tomatoes on the far right, several Cherokee purple in the back right, the two blush ones in the front are peach tomatoes (just the color looks like a peach), with a pink egg to their right, a green zebra in the middle back, some very dark cherry tomatoes that I’ve forgotten the name of already, and some elongated yellow, red and striated ones. The pale yellow one on the right is a hybrid. And below are the little cherry tomatoes, which are incredibly ripe and marvelously sweet.

And the cucumbers and mesculun lettucy mix I bought just disappeared under the tomatoes. I still have some peaches and almost half a cantaloupe, so, hard as it was, I did not buy fruit any of the luscious smelling fruit. I did buy sunflowers as well as zinnias – they are just beautiful!!

Two tomato sandwich recipes follow – one for you and one for company:

The Perfect Personal Tomato Sandwich:

  • Two slices of homemade bread (this is one place where whole wheat is not as traditional as white bread, but if you insist on whole wheat, use the white wheat, which makes a softer bread).
  • 1 large tomato, sliced about 1/2 – 3/4″ thick
  • Helman’s mayonnaise (some Southerner’s will dispute this choice of mayo, but this is MY recipe!)
  • Spread mayo on each slice of bread, as generously as you dare. Place tomato on 1 slice of bread, cutting tomato slices to cover the bread with a little overlap over the bread sides. Cover with other slice of bread. Do not slice – it just falls apart. Eat carefully over a plate or the sink, with napkins handy. Enjoy!!

Tomato Bacon Sandwiches

Makes 60 hors d’oeuvre sandwiches. (from Gourmet, long, long ago) 

  • 8 slices bacon
  • 1 ½ cups mayonnaise
  • 3 T Dijon-style mustard
  • 30 slices homemade-style bread with crusts removed (Pepperidge Farms)
  • 5 tomatoes, sliced

 In a large heavy skillet cook the bacon over moderate heat, stirring until it is crisp, transfer to paper towels to drain, and chop it fine. In a bowl stir together the bacon, mayonnaise, and mustard. Spread the bacon mayonnaise on one side of each bread slice, sandwich the tomatoes between the slices, and cut each sandwich into four triangles.

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