Tomato sandwiches

My husband is from West Virginia and he says he never heard of anyone eating plain tomato sandwiches until he moved South.

I find that astonishing.

I come from a place where people argue about the correct condiment for a tomato sandwich. Duke’s mayonnaise or Hellmann’s? Or are you a complete heathen and use Miracle Whip? Is pepper too much of an addition?

For those not from around here, Miracle Whip is “salad dressing,” which is mayonnaise with added sugar. Southern cooks are infamous for adding a pinch of sugar to just about everything and this is a commercial variation on that theme. I loved it when I was a child but lost my taste for it 20 or 30 years ago.

Some friends and I had a conversation about tomato sandwiches, recently. I was amused to hear the voices from the Midwest and Northeast talking about tomato sandwiches with bacon, smoked turkey, cheese or other plants like mushrooms, avocados or onions.

No.

Just, no.

That is not a tomato sandwich. That is a turkey sandwich with tomato. Or a BLT. Or a vegetable sandwich. Or a cheese and tomato sandwich. All delicious and delightful. But, NOT a tomato sandwich.

I acknowledge that to purists, the occasional sprouts and celery salt I enjoy are pushing the envelope. So is mayo made with basil infused olive oil. While they are very tasty, they are treading the razor’s edge where a tomato sandwich becomes Something Else.

If you are from some other part of the world, pick (from a garden, not a grocery bin) a tomato that slices like this:

DSC03089

A small one that requires several slices to cover the bread is fine, but this is a perfect sandwich tomato, minus the center cut I just ate.

Your bread may be toasted or not, mayo on one or both sides, salt and pepper are optional. You will need to stand over the sink to eat it because the tomato juice will drip from a truly ripe fruit.

THAT is the flavor of a Southern summer.

In my yard

I need to mulch the flower beds.

I need to pull grass out from between the plants I have put there on purpose.

I keep thinking that I wish I had tools that would make that easier. But that requires shopping and, when I get to the store, I dither and the weed and grass pulling doesn’t happen.

It’s a perfect day for working outside.

Why am I in here?

Time to work

Working non-standard hours has made me more aware of how we are aware of time.

I work 12 hours on each weekend day and 6 hours on one day in the week. Usually Tuesday, but that can be changed if either LabCorp or I need it to. And they pay me for a 40 hour week, so that works.

My husband has his office in our house and has to go out into the world for work related stuff about once a week. Usually, he does it on Wednesday. He’s a real estate lawyer and there are closings, title searches, recordings of deeds of trust and picking up and dropping off of checks all over 3 or 5 counties that have to happen in certain orders. That can cause his travel day to shift, but the shift doesn’t happen often. He is usually able to aim things so that one day in the middle of the week is the only driving around that is required.

I usually wake up in the morning and think “Today is …” and know when I am.

This week has been … off. I didn’t work yesterday because a friend was traveling through and we made plans for her to stop off here for dinner as she passed by. So, I swapped my week day work day to Thursday. And Chuck had to “do his running around” on Monday because that was when something that needed to happen was due.

Just now, I had to look at my computer to be sure what day of the week it is. It makes me wonder about how I will relate to time when I don’t have to go to work any more. My friends are getting to the age of retirement. I wonder if the things they do (classes, volunteering, religious services, regular visits to friends and family) are ways of regulating their time in addition to being interesting to them. Serving as a fixed point in the week.

I recognize that the way we divide days into hours and collect them into weeks and months and years is how we arrange to work together as a community. I suspect those collective nouns are also necessary for us to feel safe, to feel that there is some kind of personal control, in the enormity of infinity.

Perfect

“At 19, I read a sentence that re-terraformed my head: “The level of matter in the universe has been constant since the Big Bang.”

In all the aeons we have lost nothing, we have gained nothing – not a speck, not a grain, not a breath. The universe is simply a sealed, twisting kaleidoscope that has reordered itself a trillion trillion trillion times over.

Each baby, then, is a unique collision – a cocktail, a remix – of all that has come before: made from molecules of Napoleon and stardust and comets and whale tooth; colloidal mercury and Cleopatra’s breath: and with the same darkness that is between the stars between, and inside, our own atoms.

When you know this, you suddenly see the crowded top deck of the bus, in the rain, as a miracle: this collection of people is by way of a starburst constellation. Families are bright, irregular-shaped nebulae. Finding a person you love is like galaxies colliding. We are all peculiar, unrepeatable, perambulating micro-universes – we have never been before and we will never be again. Oh God, the sheer exuberant, unlikely face of our existences. The honour of being alive. They will never be able to make you again. Don’t you dare waste a second of it thinking something better will happen when it ends. Don’t you dare.”

Caitlin Moran

What are you doing?

I was pulling weeds from the bed long the fence. I had planted some potato eyes in the little spot in front of the asparagus bed and was meandering up removing grass and trash tree shoots. When I got to the blueberry bush closest to the potato patch, I looked up and found someone giving me the hairy eyeball.

My leetle friend

I wasn’t sure he’d wait for me to get back with my camera, but he did.

After some googling, I’ve decided he’s a robin.

Weaver Street Wine Show and Sale – Spring 2014

Iché Les Hérétiques, 2012. Old vine Carignane. $14/$8 We bought 2 and went back for another case after I had a bottle at home.

Los Dos Grenache Syrah, 2012. $12/$6.75 2 for me.

Michael David Winery 6th Sense Syrah, 2011. $20/$12.50 2 for me.

Joseph Cattin Pinot Blanc, 2012. $17/$11 4 for both of us. My note is dotp, dangerous on the porch. It’s one that will just disappear of of the bottle in the summer.

Le Campuget Frenache-Voignier, 2013. $12/$8.50 2 for Chuck

I really liked Warre’s Optima 10 year-old Tawny Port. $33/$23. But, couldn’t justify another bottle of port when I have so much open and unconsumed.