Yesterday I had the priviledge of visiting with one of my neighbors from our previous residence. If you’ve read the blog recently, you know that we moved out into the boonies and visitors are a welcome addition to our days of raising kids and chickens, cooking, landscaping 8 acres and trying to get inspired to write in the process.
So, when my neighbor revealed a sparkly bag with housewarming gifts, it wasn’t the nice bottle of wine that will go great with Lemon Chicken and Dill Cream Sauce or Herbed Salmon, nor was it the beautiful squash and zucchini she grew in her garden that made my heart skip…it was the beautiful bag of tomatoes.
I grew up in Southern California and my grandfather grew tomatoes on his back porch. I remember eating so many tomatoes that my mouth developed acid sores that stung for a good 24 hours after plunging myself into the pleasure of this delicacy. I’m so glad God puts these little “you’ve had too many” cautionary reminders into life’s experiences.
Now, if you are a gardener in the Northwest, you know that tomatoes are very difficult to grow here. There just isn’t enough intense heat to generate a juicy, red, sweet tomato…the way an authentic tomato is supposed to taste. These were not the tomatoes from the grocery store. I’m not sure what those red things are that they try to sell us, the sign says “Tomato” but they taste like plastic, and ruin Caprese salad. And so, this is why I was so excited for this rare delicacy: a beautiful handful of real, authentic tomatoes in the Pacific Northwest.
They inspired me to think about “Authenticity.” Our culture is so filled with temptations which appear to be the real thing, but upon indulging, end up being a phony replica of our intended desire. I can’t remember the last time, before the tomatoes, I looked at something or someone and thought about the word “Authentic.” I’m including the mirror in that last statement too. I want to be more “Authentic” but how?
If you have any ideas let me know…for now I will indulge in those juicy, sweet and real tomatoes…oops, they’re are a figment of my imagination now since I ate them all without abandon…no sores this time, though!