Thursday, August 3, 2006
Co-worker Sue Watson has been supplying tomatoes from her garden to The South Reporter crew.
There’s nothing better than a good tomato. And Sue knows how to grow some of the best.
One of my chores growing up was taking care of the garden during the summer while my mom was at work.
I used to run that garden tiller until my hands hurt and I was ready to drop or until I “escaped” for baseball practice.
Mother used to kid me about how it was too hot to work in the garden but never too hot for baseball.
One of our regular “crops” in our Marion County, Ala., garden was tomatoes, and very good ones, I might add.
Mother still grows them, but like a lot of folks, the scorching temperatures and lack of rainfall have hampered production. Her garden isn’t as big as it once was, but it still helps keep her active.
Throw those tomatoes in with the cucumbers, okra, squash, potatoes and corn. That’s a meal that’s hard to beat; plus add some cornbread. My all-time favorite is squash.
I was raised on some of the best homegrown garden food anywhere. And it’s food that seems to be no longer be a part of our eating routine. Eating out has become the craze, even with my own family. We’re always on the run, it seems.
I was also raised on a variety of sandwiches.
First was tomato sandwiches – no bacon or other meat – just tomatoes, lots and lots of mayonnaise and some salt and pepper, too.
I will admit; I did occasionally put a sliced cucumber on the sandwich with the tomatoes. If not, I always tried to have some cucumbers alongside.
We’ve been enjoying tomato sandwiches for a few weeks here at the newspaper office during our busiest days – Monday, Tuesday and Wednesdays – thanks to Sue. I have yet to put any bacon or bologna or ham or anything else on mine.
But the food favorites have changed over the years.
I’m pretty sure my kids would not dream of eating a tomato sandwich, maybe with the exception of our 4-year-old. She will eat about anything.
Now it’s a different story if you throw in some bacon and make it a BLT. The whole family enjoys those.
Another favorite of mine is a banana sandwich. The only other main ingredient in that one, too, is lots of mayonnaise. And yes, I do like them with peanut butter instead of mayonnaise, but prefer the latter.
Another sandwich favorite that my family thinks is a bit nutty is a pineapple sandwich. You guessed it – just bread, sliced pineapples and plenty of mayonnaise.
I can’t remember the last time I had a pineapple sandwich, but I opened many a can of pineapples during my younger years. I wasn’t much on cooking, just opening cans.
I had plenty of Beanie Wienies and Vienna sausage and the like, particularly on those fun camping trips with friends to the woods near my home.
A visit from of my best friends ever, Mike Mays, who I hung out with growing up, Sunday evening got me to thinking about those days.
We talked about the GI Joes, the Hot Wheels, “baptizing” the puppies in the small creek near my house, helping his dad in their chicken houses, high school basketball and much, much more – even a few old girlfriends, much to the ribbing of our wives.
It was an enjoyable three or four hours of reliving the past.
It’s getting close to the end of the work day Monday. Maybe I will have a sandwich for a snack tonight – be it tomato, banana or perhaps pineapple.
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