Tuesday, July 21, 2020

The Perfect Tomato Sandwich

This is "German Pink," an heirloom tomato we're growing at Rainbow Tomatoes. Yesterday we had two sandwich tomatoes for sale, along with an array of other varieties. A guy stopped by the stand, eyeballed the offerings and said, "You only got one tomato?" He got the spiel about the 320 varieties we're growing, and how they will ripen, and then he hopped back into his pickup and left. Well, lucky for us he didn't take our "one tomato."

Last night after no one bought this baby, we decided to have our first tomato toasty of the season. I made a quick coleslaw as a side dish. The day was brutally hot, and cooking was not on the list of things to do. This was excellent timing for German Pink to still be sitting in the green produce box at the end of the day.

I sliced it, made toast, applied mayo, pepper, and salt. We sat on the sofa to eat (kind of a regular at the end of long, hot day), and were just starting to watch an episode of Whose Line Is It Anyway? when I bit into my sandwich. I asked Dan to turn off the TV. I wanted to taste it better, without the noise of the television. This sandwich demanded my focus.

This was the best tasting tomato sandwich of my life. It was the Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings tomato sandwich, all the notes a complete swoon.

For this divine meal, all we did was tear up the earth, plant thousands of seeds in the greenhouse a few days after lockdown, untangle seedlings and separate  the strongest plants so they could grow under lights, bring the hundreds of grown starters outside daily in shifts to get used to being in the sun, bring them back in at night, worry over loss, cultivate fields, measure and plant the starter plants, water, weed, fling tomato hornworms off, trim the low branches, stake and tie the plants up, then tie again and again as they continue to grow. Now we're just beginning to harvest the fruit, display it, and offer it for sale.

In about a week we'll have way more than one sandwich tomato. But last night we had only one, and it was all ours.