Tomatoes on the Vine

Tomatoes on the Vine

I love this photo.  I know that tomatoes feel like summer, so these aren’t exactly seasonal.  But it’s hot here again, so when the weather is so confusing, why not just go with it?

Man oh man did I HATE tomatoes as a kid.  I wouldn’t even touch ketchup or tomato sauce.  I wonder how many times I’ll write the words, “my poor parents” in my lifetime.  I fear the day that Ryan and I have children of our own because I expect some serious karma is coming my way.

My sisters were good eaters.  They ate all their vegetables, while I pushed mine around the plate.  My poor Dad used to try to get me to eat my Mom’s baked carrots (which I bet I would just love today) by saying, “Mmm Mmm, these taste just like candy!”  There were a couple vegetable things I remember my family doing – one was sprinkling green pepper rings with a little salt.  For some reason, that stands out in my mind.  I liked those, and still like green peppers to this day.  Can’t stand red or any other color though.

The other thing I remember is that my family used to sprinkle tomato slices with sugar.  They loved it!  It would be such a treat when my Mom brought that plate into the dining room.  Oh how I wished I could like them, but all that glorious sugar was sitting on top of an evil tomato.   I was so jealous that they all seemed to be in food heaven, while I was in hell, terrified I’d have to actually try one.

My Dad used to tell us the story, “Do you girls know that I didn’t try pizza until I was seventeen years old? Seventeen!  Can you imagine that?!”

Us – “Why not, Dad? Pizza is so good!”

Dad – “You know why?  Because I thought it looked gross, and I was afraid to try it. You should always at least give a new food a try before you decide that you hate it. What’s if it’s as good as pizza, but you never find out because you wouldn’t try new things?”

That story stuck with me and became like gospel.  My God, can you imagine not eating pizza?  For seventeen whole years?!  I thought of this again when I was older and realized that it just might have been a bit of a… let’s call it a “truth stretch.”  I mean, could the man really not have eaten pizza for that long?!  Was he maybe just trying to make a point (a very effective point) to get us to not miss out on new things? And how about the fact that the sauce on that delicious pizza happened to be made from one of my most hated foods? Makes ya think.  A wise man, my Dad.

I can still be a little weird about raw tomatoes.  Making my own fresh salsa (I still remember that first batch) broke me in a bit.  I also have a bruschetta recipe from Healthy Life Kitchen that I love.  I tend to cut the tomatoes pretty small though, and they have to have lots of garlic, basil, olive oil and salt and pepper on them.  I still don’t really like raw tomatoes on my sandwiches, although there is one big exception…

The TLT, made with tempeh bacon.  On really good bread, with some Vegenaise, romaine, and heirloom tomatoes sprinkled with a little salt and pepper, this could probably be one of my favorite sandwiches.  I’ll admit that I never had a BLT in my meat-eating days.  That was another special night in our house growing up – there would be so much excitement in the air on BLT night.  I think I probably had bacon on white bread. No lettuce, and no tomatoes, thank you very much.  Maybe I would have allowed the mayo.  But it’s a big maybe.  My poor parents.

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8 Responses to “Tomatoes on the Vine”

  1. Awww your dad sounds cool and I like his pizza story. I always say to my son to try something at least once. It annoys the hell outta me when people say they don’t like something yet they’ve never tried it!!??!!

  2. I was the same way with tomatoes. I hated them as a kid and did not understand why my very-Italian family loved them so much. It wasn’t until living in Rome during a semester in college when I realized that they are pretty darn fantastic!

  3. I used to avoid tomatoes, too! And now I absolutely love them. Nothing like a juicy ripe heirloom tomato sprinkled with fresh sea salt and lemon juice – amazing! That photo is stunning!

  4. All of the above is true and Her Dad is VERY COOL. Signed her DAD.

  5. I don’t like raw tomatoes, either, and it took me a while to like them cooked. I definitely still have a “no thank you” list!

  6. I love that story about your Dad! It is such a Dad thing to say and adorable. Tomatoes are still in season here in Texas! I just picked some yesterday :)

  7. It really annoys me too when people don’t like something before they have tried it. It makes no sense!

    I had a chinese dinner the other night with omni friends who commented on my deep fried tofu saying “See, that just looks wrong”. Which amazed me because it’s normal food in China, and it’s only viewed as wrong here because vegans eat it! If it was any other Chinese food they would think it was fine – open your mind!

  8. That is a beautiful photo. This post reminds me of a children’s book called “I Will Never, Not Ever, Eat a Tomato” by Lauren Child.