April 6, 2012

National Fresh Tomato Day

"It's difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.” - Lewis Grizzard

It's National Fresh Tomato Day!

I think my grandfather would agree with the above sentiment. Every summer, he grew some of the best tasting Big Boys and Early Girls I've ever tasted (I think it was the magic combination of perfect soil, warm Maine sun, and his love of life that made them as flavorful as they were). And every summer that our family had little kids in it, one of them would inevitably pluck off one of the hard, small green unripened tomatoes from the vine and hand it adoringly to my grandfather as if to show him what an excellent job he did growing them and that they were now ready to be eaten! And my patient, kind grandfather who slaved over growing those fruits, would smile and accept it generously.

When I think of fresh tomatoes - I think of him furiously plucking weeds away from his plants one moment, while tenderly caressing the produce he was growing the next. I think of the countless summers I spent helping him in the hot July sun. And I think of how, when he started getting too old to tend to the garden himself, I took over (under his strictest supervision).

Today might just be some random food holiday that some tomato grower's association came up with to encourage people to eat more fruits and veggies, but to me it's a day of remembrance.

(Photo credit: Remick Photography)

(And pizza pie, obviously.)

Happy National Fresh Tomato Day!