Sunday, July 19, 2009

The First Gift of Summer



I always lowered my voice an octave and held up an imaginary bell when I bellowed out my favorite line from the classic Christmas book, The Polar Express. "The first gift of Christmas."

Today, I plucked the first red Celebrity tomato from the garden. I held the shiny fruit in the sun and shouted out, "The first gift of summer" (without lowering my voice an octave). Isn't gardening dramatic?

And the best part? Just like Santa's bag, the vines should produce an endless supply of gifts - some red, some yellow and some green and striped like a zebra - all summer long.


The gift that keeps on giving, all summer long - vine ripe tomatoes. With a little salt and fresh chopped basil, what could be better?

(And with heat in the 90s here in Southern California, I may cool off by reading The Polar Express. I'll drink Sangria chilled with ice shaved from the Polar Ice Caps instead of hot chocolate "as thick as chocolate bars.")

23 comments:

AmyR said...

I just picked our first tomato yesterday. It's my first time growing them actually. I ate it with basil and olive oil. Yum. Yay for summer.

Jay said...

adding bocconcini would make it better.

Susan C said...

Amy, that's so cool that you picked your first tomato yesterday. After I come back on the 28th, my entire diet will center around tomatoes.

Jay, Oh, yessir, you are right about the bocconini. Just wish I had some handy!

Jean Spitzer said...

I--with some help from the sun--fried one tomato plant, but so far the other one (in a shadier spot) is still with us, along with several other plants that I can't identify because I didn't label them. Anyway, whatever they are seems to be extremely appealing to creatures with wings.

pasadenaadjacent said...

My heirlooms are just about finished but the commercial variety is in full production. I planted a few more back ups that should come into play in August (including a zebra).
I like my tomatoes with oil and balsamic vinegar, onions, purple sage , feta cheese and crushed garlic

Bewitched said...

I can taste the sun...yumm

altadenahiker said...

Here's what I love: Home grown tomato on toast with salt, pepper and olive oil. That's all. That's perfect.

Margaret said...

We just picked our first tomato yesterday too! How fun.

Calamity Anne said...

I picked my last tomato a month ago. I had tons of cherry tomatoes for several weeks...then the 100-degree temps hit! How I'd love a fresh tomato during the summer...but no dice here in Texas!

Ann said...

I'm salivating.

rhonda35 said...

I didn't think I would salvage any of my tomatoes from the squirrels around my house, but I managed to save two - the size of golf balls - and we ate them with cucumbers and red leaf lettuce tonight. Just a sprinkle of salt and a splash of balsamic - YUM! There is nothing in this world like a ripe, homegrown tomato...well, except, perhaps, a perfect peach!

Tony said...

Very cool. We just got our first ripe Baby Girls this week (even the dog got some!)

Our bigger varietals are still green (we planted late...) but it's an exciting time.

Beth said...

I'm down with the sangria, but I'm not a fan of uncooked tomatoes, unless they're drenched with balsamic vinegar. ;)

"Jo" said...

I'm not much of a tomato-person but I've got to say: that does look tasty! I'm getting hungry...

The Fru-Gals said...

Home grown tomatoes!! Here in New Hampshire where it has rained endlessly this summer, we might be denied this simple pleasure.

First time here, lovely photos!

Suz

pasadenaadjacent said...

i mean purple basil

SP said...

Susan!!!!!!!!!!!! The random search and I found your nice coloured blog. I will follow you with pleasure!!!!!!!!!!
CIao Italo.
PS: it's really the first gift of the summer there?

SP said...

And the title OPEN MOUTH, INSERT FORK: it's my religion!

Raul e Joel Carvalho said...

hello,

view your blog and found it very interesting.
I am responsible for a blog of wine in Portugal and I would ask if he can not put the link on my site to your blog.

Link to my blog: http://do-nariz-a-boca.blogspot.com/

If you put send email to this address: pirusas.carvalho @ hotmail.com

sebbi k said...

It's a great blog you are having, and a picture of a fresh tomato just grabbed my heart. It's impossible for me to grow them right now, but I always look for the best suppliers to hunt those best tomatoes and enjoy their full taste:)

Petrea said...

My friend and client gave me a tomato today. Isn't that the sweetest thing? Can't wait to have it just this way.

Carolyn Jung said...

Congrats to you! I, too, picked my first tomato of the year today. Finally, one of them turned red enough, and was good and ready. I just enjoyed it simply with a sprinkle of salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Mmm, mmm, good.

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