Monday, January 28, 2008
A Sink Sandwich
I have wracked my brain trying to decide what I would write about today. There were so many things on my mind that I couldn't, let us say, get into gear this morning. Mac and I walked around deciding where to put the tomato bed (believe it or not, it's getting time to start the plants from seed and when they are big enough, they'll have to have a summer home.) We've already decided that the only tomatoes we'll grow this year are going to be Mortgage Lifters. We understand that the name comes from the man who perfected the strain and that he sold so many tomatoes he was able to pay off the mortgage on his house. Hence, Mortgage Lifters. I remember the first year we grew them, they were huge, softball sized tomatoes with an outstanding taste. My grandmother would call this a "sink sandwich". After scalding the tomato, removing the skin and slicing it into big slabs, we'd mayo two slices of bread, lay one piece (yes, I do not lie, one piece) of tomato onto one piece of bread allowing it to hang off the sides, add salt and pepper to taste, apply the top piece of bread and then stand over the sink while the juices ran down our hands and into the sink. A Sink Sandwich, see? Do you ever get those little "spit pains" in your mouth when you think of something that is so good and so far out of reach that the only thing your mouth can do is hurt? That's what I am experiencing right now. It's more complicated than "my mouth is watering", you see. It's not a literal pain, but an actual pain, one where you have to close your eyes, get an image in your head of that which is taunting your tastebuds and shake the image away. Image gone, pain gone. But here I am writing about it and the pain stays. I know, I know...there are tomatoes in the grocery store. But they are not good tomatoes. They certainly are not local tomatoes. And they are not our tomatoes. They are hot house tomatoes that can never get soft enough to make a sink sandwich;until they've rotted, that is...and then no longer fit to eat. The past few years we've also grown other types, such as Celebrity (good, not great) and tommy toes (little cherry tomatoes) or others. We do our best to stick with heirloom tomatoes, not hybrids. But I think that is where we are failing. We need to stick with one and only one variety. We need to start our plants earlier and not have so many that should we experience another "Easter Snap", we are unable to save the crop. I wish I had a picture to share with you of me racing against time to throw sheets and tow sacks over plants last year, and then out the next morning to remove them, praying that we were successful. Unfortunately, the drought ended what hopes we had of a good crop of anything, much less tomatoes. But this year, things will be different. I have that feeling. And the only 'maters in the garden are going to be Mortgage Lifters. Hmm. Looks like I made up my mind what I wanted to write about. I'd give nearly anything for a good old sink sandwich right now. Pardon me while I go shake the image out of my head and the spit pain out of my mouth.