Tomatoes are magical. I know this because I have been around tomatoes all of my life. My Dad is the supreme grower of tomatoes and there isn’t much that is better than a tomato sandwich made with his tomatoes and Duke Mayonnaise, salt and pepper. I didn’t really understand the mystique of Duke’s mayonnaise until CF and I spent a weekend with my mother for her birthday as she was recovering from chemo. He ate tomato sandwiches at every meal. It was just as the crop was peaking. You could walk outside and pick them ripe from the vine. CF had grown up in North Carolina with Duke’s mayonnaise as a part of his childhood and southern roots.
When we lived in Columbus, I grew tomatoes in the backyard. I would visit them each night when I got home during my walk from the detached garage to the kitchen door. It was the cutest craftsman house – our first home together – but that is a story for another time.
What made them magical to me was the surprise and delight when the little yellow bud appeared, the excitement when it turned to a little green tomato and the thrill of it turning red. The minute I took a bite I was transported back to Old Kennett Road and the simple summer dinners that always involved fresh tomatoes and platters full of fresh corn. I can’t remember the last time I had great corn, but on this night the tomatoes were ripe and delicious when paired with a creamy burrata, olive oil, salt and pepper. Sometimes the simple things are all you need.