I first grew tomatoes as a grown-up on a roof deck of a condo building. With two of my friends, we planted, watered and tended ten different heirloom varieties. With visions of BLT’s, Caprese salads and pizzas with fresh tomato slice, we watched with great anticipation as some of our crop began to ripen. Finally, one morning, we journeyed up the stairs to harvest our first pick. With great horror, we saw that all of the ripe tomatoes were gone, ripped from their little green stems. Another of our neighbors had unceremoniously tossed them into his salad the evening before. When asked about it, he apologized and offered to replace them from the grocery store. Ugh. As politely as I could muster, I told him that the next harvest was spoken for.
These days we don’t need to worry about rude neighbors, but crazy squirrels. Our first tomatoes were marred by bites or carelessly tossed into the beds of other plants. For some reason, as the season has gone on, our rodent friends have lost interest and the tomatoes have been allowed to ripen and turn color. I’m crossing my fingers that one of these days soon we’ll have enough to make a bowl of soup as it is my son’s favorite.
His love of tomato soup all started when he pilfered a bowl of mine at Big Jones, one of our favorite restaurants. After finishing it off, he declared: “Mommy, I finally like soup.”