Twelve Things To Do With a Just Picked Heirloom Tomato

By  |  July 6, 2017
Photograph by Evaldas Daugintis, courtesy of the artist Photograph by Evaldas Daugintis, courtesy of the artist
12 Things To Do With a Just Picked Heirloom Tomato

  1. Stand in the garden where you plucked it and eat it warm, out of your hand.
  2. Stand over the sink and eat it, sliced, between two pieces of light bread held together with mayonnaise.
  3. Cut it into small chunks catching the juice in the bowl. Cut finger-long, still warm from the garden cucumbers in chunks to match. Chip in some sweet white onion. Salt. Pepper. Stir. Wait. Eat when you can’t wait any longer. Drink the juice from the bowl when nobody’s looking.
  4. Pick a bunch more. Make homemade tomato juice and process in a water bath to put up and have for the winter.
  5. Take one jar of tomato juice and make Bloody Mary mix by adding a real good dollop of the brine from the Dill Green Tomatoes you put up a few weeks ago while you were waiting for the tomatoes to get ripe. Add a dash (or more) of hot sauce. Spear a wedge of dill tomato with a silly cocktail sword and hang it from the edge of your glass.
  6. Peel, chop, and set aside. Cut corn from two cobs, milking them. Cap and slice some tender little okras longwise. Or if you don’t have okra, cut up a couple of little pattypan squash. Soften them up in a skillet with some bacon grease and a little green onion chipped in. Add the tomato and juice and just a splash of water if you need to. Salt and pepper some. Eat this right when the squash or okra gets tender. You can eat it right out of the skillet, if you want to.
  7. Slice and lay out pretty on a yellowing plate with tiny flowers around the border. If the plate is big, add more slices from tomatoes of different colors. Give yourself extra points if the plate is cross hatched with tiny age cracks.
  8. Serve sliced with Milk Gravy on top. (Trust me.)
  9. Make a BLT with Salt Rising Bread, toasted, and really good bacon. Eat it.
  10. Make another and eat it, too.
  11. Say, “This tomato looks mighty good. Believe I’ll make us a pot of greasy beans to go with it. And some skillet corn. And them cucumbers I sliced and iced this morning. You think a little slaw would be good with that? I do, too. I’ll put a banana pepper out and you can cut you a slice if you’re needing one, and some green onions trimmed in that water glass. Well, of course I’m making corn bread. And iced tea. Well, now. I believe I need me another tomato…”
  12. Take off your shoes. Stand in the garden where you plucked it and eat it warm, out of your hand. Root to your earth.

Read Sun Gold Solitaire,” by Ronni Lundy.

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Ronni Lundy is the author of Victuals: An Appalachian Journey, with Recipes, which received two awards from the James Beard Foundation, including Book of the Year. Read her essay on Hazel Dickens in the new anthology Woman Walk the Line: How the Women in Country Music Changed Our Lives, edited by Holly Gleason.