It’s Too Hot to Eat

Hot Tomatoes! photo by Cassandra Birocco

I remember growing up in western Pennsylvania. The summers were hot for a short period so no one had air-conditioned homes. On these hot days after we got home from the pool, my mother would say, “It’s too hot to eat!”

So that meant dinner would be all fresh vegetables from my dad’s garden. I remember the succulent tomatoes we would eat right off the vine like an apple with the juice dripping the whole way down our tummies. And the kids debated: is tomato a fruit or a vegetable? And, dad would say: “These tomatoes are so good, THEY’LL DRIVE YOU NUTS!

Hot Town, Summer in the City
Fast forward to now. It’s July, it’s Virginia (in the Washington, D.C., area), and it’s hot and humid. The temperature is about 104 degrees when you factor in the humidity. The Congress should be in recess but they are staying in town to pass a budget deal. Drat, that means the traffic is still bad. And, as mom would say, it’s too hot to eat. So, tonight’s dinner was:

  • Fresh sliced tomatoes from the local farmer’s market (I can’t grow them, the squirrels and deer eat them right off the vine!) Tomato tips: Don’t ever refrigerate a tomato! If the tomato reaches the point you have to refrigerate it, then eat it. (I never met a tomato I didn’t like.) Also, consider peeling your summer tomatoes. A good, ripe tomato’s skin will peel off easily if you hold it in the palm of your hand. And, there is nothing like a peeled tomato, don’t ask me why but my grandmother peeled her tomatoes and so do I.
  • Basil from my herb garden plus a taste test of lemon basil and cinnamon basil a colleague gave me at work today
  • Sliced fresh mozzarella cheese
  • A freshly baked, warm baguette from, believe it or not, Safeway (it’s on the way home)
  • A little olive oil and a little balsamic vinegar, salt and fresh ground pepper
  • The drink: Sprodkas (my own creation, named by my husband Bill. People now ask for them by name when they come to our home.)

I really have nothing original to say to close this blog—it’s too hot to think. So, I’ll just say “bon appetit” like Julia would say.

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3 thoughts on “It’s Too Hot to Eat

  1. Barbara – those deer make it to my yard too, and I have lost so many tomatoes this year! First time ever! I slice them too, with the fresh mozarella and basil, drizzle the balsamic — I don’t think you can beat that for a summer dinner. btw, Cape Fear isn’t that far from Topsail Island, where we went for about 12 years. My niece’s recipe for her “Topsail Salad” is also a summer favorite!

  2. I just discovered your blog, and I have to tell you I love it! I live in the south too and yes, I agree that it is way too hot to eat, much less cook. I am always on the lookout for nutritious, no-cook or low-cook meals, so please keep the ideas coming!

    I will leave you with this thought: Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to use it in a fruit salad.

    🙂

  3. You’ve inspired me to eat more tomatoes from the farmer’s market raw, Barbara! Could you tell us why we shouldn’t refrigerate tomatoes, though?

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