What do I do with my first tomato?
I like to carefully pick the first ripe tomato, wearing special soft, cotton gloves to avoid any bruising of the tomato. Then I place it on a lacy satin pillow and reverently carry it into the house, where it is placed on the counter to be admired and also weighed, measured and photographed.
Then I carefully record in my “Book of First Tomatoes”, what type of tomato it was, how big it was, when I picked it, how I felt when I picked it and what the weather was like. Once I’ve recorded all that information in the book, I use a special silver tomato knife to slice the first tomato open.
Once I’ve sliced the first tomato with my special silver tomato knife, I carefully transfer the tomato to a china plate, which is only used for eating the first tomato. The plate has little tomatoes painted along the edges, and is just big enough for one tomato. Then, using a once-a-year special occasion silver first tomato fork, I carefully eat the tomato one slice at a time, savoring each delicious bite.
Once I’ve completed eating the first tomato, I carefully wash the plate, knife and fork, update the book with my reflections on how the tomato tasted, and then put it all away until next year. Sometimes in the winter time when fresh tomatoes are but a memory and the snow covers the garden, I like to get out my Book of First Tomatoes to remind myself how good that first tomato really tastes.
Okay, you’ve figured out that I am kidding, right? I hope so. I’m not that nuts! Actually, I generally harvest and eat the first tomato all in one motion. Pick, and begin eating, like it was an apple. No salt, no sugar, I do wipe it off first. I don’t even leave the garden. It’s good that way, nice and juicy and warm.
But, I really have noticed across all the gardening blogs that most vegetable gardeners, including me, do seem to have a special feeling about the first ripe tomato, and most try to do something special with it. At the very least, if eaten with other food, like on a bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich, everyone seems to want to use only the freshest ingredients to make it a special meal.
Then, when the tomato harvest starts to look like this, everyone’s just trying to figure out what to do with all of these tomatoes!
What do you do with your first tomato?