One sweet thing about summer, besides the smell of cookouts wafting from people's patios in the evenings, is what comes out of the ground, especially peaches, vidalias, corn, and tomatoes. Some of my sweet childhood memories are watching my dad standing at the kitchen counter meticulously making a tomato sandwich -- carefully spreading the mayonnaise, layering the tomatoes, sprinkling the salt, cutting it in half, and sitting down to revel in its goodness. That man loves tomato sandwiches, just like his mom, and just like his daughter learned to.
It has been a long while since I've had a perfect summer tomato. Though California bursts at the seams with produce and sells it much cheaper than Washington-- especially avocados and mangoes -- it lacks the summer-sweet tomatoes I've known. But on Saturday, after walking through the farmers' market in Corona del Mar with Eden, Annemarie and Silas running ahead, I came home with a little bag of sweeeeet tomatoes. After 6 years of living here, I finally have the missing taste of summer, and tonight we will eat them with bits of basil, olive oil and balsamic, sprinkled with salt. And maybe tomorrow I'll make a little sandwich and think of home.