Do you love tomatoes? As a general rule, I can take them or leave them when it comes to fresh tomatoes. While I never met a cooked tomato I didn't like, fresh tomatoes can be a risky proposition. Even here in the South, it's common to buy even tomatoes on the vine at the grocery store and find them to be mealy and tasteless once you get them home.
That's not the case in the heat of the summer though. If you're like me and have friends who garden, then maybe you're lucky enough to have someone who brings you fresh from the garden tomatoes. Thanks to Lori and Junior, I enjoyed some AMAZING tomatoes last week.
After adding some sliced tomato and herbs to doctor up a frozen pizza, I thought I'd finish up this giant tomato by just slicing the rest and adding some salt and pepper. Much like I think oysters taste like the sea, these tomatoes tasted like the American South to me. Warm, 'cause ya'll know not to put tomatoes in the fridge, right?; deep, because the color and taste and texture were just packed into every bite; bursting with flavor, so that they almost explode in your mouth with every chew; filling your mouth with the taste of sunshine and humidity and rain which seem to me to be the very essence of the South. I'm proud of where I live and the tradition of food that is unique to my region. For some reason, garden fresh tomatoes seem to embody the South in a way that few other foods do.
As I waited for my pizza to cook, I ate every bit of this tomato on my plate. I thought the colors of the tomato against the yellow Fiestaware plate made it even prettier. And then I took a picture because it just seemed so gorgeous to me.
Twenty minutes later, my pizza was finished. Looks pretty good for a $3 Jack's pizza, right? I thought so too. It's amazing what some little additions will do for a cheap, premade dinner. I added Italian seasoning flakes and tomatoes before it cooked and some shaved aziago cheese when I settled down with a few pieces. Definitely yummy!
If you live alone, do you find it hard to cook for yourself? I end up eating more sandwiches and cereal and frozen pizza than I probably should, otherwise I'd have leftover for days. In the winter, I'm more likely to use my crockpot to make stews and soups, but I just don't cook that much for myself. What about you? I'd love to hear how any fellow singles out there deal with the cooking and mealtime issue.
Wherever you live, I hope you'll snag some fresh local produce and enjoy before the days of summer reach an end.