August and Tomatoes
I can't say that August is my favorite time of year. I prefer September and October; most likely the result of living in Kansas City for 10 years. I had just gotten married and we moved there so I could attend the Kansas City Art Institute. I hated the summer. We didn't have air-conditioning for the first 8 years we lived there and that will make you hate summer in Kansas City. I'm sure my husband was sick-and-tired of hearing me say, "I think I'm going to perish". I would walk to the grocery store just to cool off. Once inside, I would forget about the heat and took my sweet time buying all kinds of food items (especially in the freezer section). When I finally stepped outdoors and returned to our second floor brownstone apartment I no longer had an appetite, nor did I feel like doing anything in my hot kitchen with all that I had just purchased. I looked forward to September and October. My hunger returned and it was cool enough to put my shorts aside and wear pants again for the first time since May.
I live in St. Paul, Minnesota now and August is much cooler here than it was 440 miles south. And I'd have to say that August is my favorite month gastronomically. If you grow your own tomatoes or have access to garden tomatoes through a local farmers' market, you understand.
And one of my favorite ways to eat a tomato is in a sandwich. No bacon. No lettuce. Just bread (make that really good bread), mayo, heirloom tomatoes, and a sprinkling of fleur de sel. Sometimes I have Basil Mayonnaise in my refrigerator and that will make this sandwich even better.
• 1 cup good quality mayonnaise
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Whisk all of the above ingredients together. The mayonnaise can be kept in a jar in the refrigerator for one week.
8/19/2012 12:54:51 am
Love hearing a snippet of what makes you unique.... I guess Kansas City won't be on you and your husband's to do list in retirement! Tomatoes celebrated in the purest form is one of August's best attributes! I had a tomatoe, butter and toast sandwich for breakfast this week.... and it was by far the best breakfast all week!
8/19/2012 04:11:43 am
I have been making almost a new recipe daily with all my heirlooms and cherry tomatoes, however, the best way is just that, a tomato sandwich.
8/19/2012 04:29:12 am
Your sandwich looks delicious!
8/20/2012 08:24:01 pm
Eileen, love the KC recollections. I too would perish if I had to live outside the cool Pacific NW. We had two days over 90 recently and folks were whining quite a bit. I held my tongue, and took a dip in the Sound. Immediate cool-down ensued. I'm still waiting for my tomatoes to ripen. Last night I enjoyed some local toms in a salad and basil pasta dish. Basil and tomatoes deserve to be together, and that can be seen in this fine recipe of yours. Basil mayo it is, now if I can just coax the tomatoes into a little blush.
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