This isn’t a recipe. This is love. This is longing. This is craving.
This is waiting.
I think I’ve got a few more weeks at least before I can get big, beautiful, robust, tangy, juicy, delicious tomatoes. Sometimes I give in to the want of a bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich prematurely and buy what look like beautiful heirloom varieties only to end up with the taste of disappointment. Bland, mealy, nothingness. I try to wait. I really do. It is ever so worth it when you do get that perfect fruit that has just the right balance of acid to tamato-y sweetness.
It’s mid-May though, so maybe I can play the tomato version of Russian roulette and not get results that are TOO bad.
I don’t know why I am doing this to myself right now. I am writing about something I am craving and looking at photos of a sandwich that was eaten many many moons ago. I am torturing myself with the wanting and anticipation of a future delight. Finding the right tomatoes early in the season is like trying to collect pixie dust. And it always amazes me when I do find lovely specimens that I can spend over $20 on 3 tomatoes.
I remember when some grocery stores first started tentatively putting out ‘different’ varieties of tomatoes. I remember buying the (now branded) ‘ugly’ tomato. The bright acidity was a welcome change from the regular plastic grocery store tomatoes. Though sadly, with their popularity, it seems the flavor disappeared. Why is it when something becomes mass produced/marketed it becomes this flavorless fodder?
My brain is already humming with all the lovely tomato things that I want to do - ranging from the ‘apple eating’ approach with a sprinkle of salt to tomato water cocktails… simple caprese, panzanella with the addition of stone fruit, slow roasted on grilled bread with a smear of sheep’s milk cheese, sauces, pickles, jams. See what I mean? I torment myself with the ADD type of thinking my brain falls into when I obsess on one particular ingredient. Not a dish. An ingredient. It makes me want bushels of green and ripe tomatoes and a legion of friends to ply with my end results.
Right now I would settle for a simple bacon lettuce and tomato sandwich. Slightly thick cut slices of bread that has been toasted to a golden brown. A slather of mayonnaise (yes, one could make homemade). I used Hellmann’s for the one in this series of photos, but I usually buy Duke’s. Many crispy strips of heavenly bacon. Thick slabs of juice dripping tomatoes. Cold, crisp lettuce.
Yep. That’s summertime bliss.
If I can’t find any tasty ripe ones, I can always just get some green ones to fry. It helps the craving, but it’s still not the same thing.
Here’s to the dreams of things to come.