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Friday, August 21, 2009

Home Grown Tomatoes









My daughter's mother-in-law Pat Regensburger gave me a couple of her home grown purple tomatoes. Today I had a delicious tomato sandwich, just two slices of white bread smothered in mayonnaise and three thick slices of purple tomato, sliced diagonally. I like the tomato to be right from the garden, not from a fridge. I want it to be room temperature, and oh so yummy.

That is one of the best percs of late summer, all those nice fresh home grown tomatoes.  Here he is, John Denver, singing Home Grown Tomatoes.

My dad loved to grow tomatoes, and beef steak were his personal favorite. Once he taped some to a vine he kept going all winter long in the garage, and took a picture. He sent that picture to my Uncle Charlie in Florida, who thought that Dad actually had tomatoes on his vine in the garage all winter long. Uncle Charlie would continually comment on the way Bud grew tomatoes in his garage all winter long, and I never had the guts to set him straight.

Uncle Charlie grew tomatoes in the winter in his Florida garden, after he moved there from Oxford, NJ. He would always say that although he had tomatoes twice a year, "There is no tomato like a Jersey tomato." He said that the New Jersey soil had just the right amount of acid to grow the best tomatoes in the world.

This idea was confirmed by a comment that my sister Ruth Ann and her husband Tom heard from the late entertainer Don Ho singer of Tiny Bubbles. While on one of their trips to Hawaii several years ago Ruth Ann and Tom had the pleasure of meeting Don Ho. When they spoke of the fact that they were from New Jersey, Don Ho went on to tell them a story. He said that when he was much younger and in the US Armed Services he went home with a fellow soldier to his home in New Jersey. While he was visiting there he ate New Jersey tomatoes and he said that while he had traveled the world, he never had a tomato as good as those that are grown in New Jersey.

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