The First Tomato of 2020!

By Linda Elissalde
Is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable?
My husband Marcel has many talents. He can fix any broken item, paint a house, build a trailer, vacuum, replace lightbulbs, fold clothes and make homemade bread that tastes like Grandma’s homemade bread. However, his greatest talent is that he can grow TOMATOES. Whether a fruit or a vegetable, tomatoes are my favorite. In fact he says it is the glue that keeps the marriage together. (Is that a mixed metaphor?)

Our peninsula boasts many fine gardeners. Our neighbors Ellen and Robert keep us well fed with their winter garden. The answer to Bugs Bunny’s, “What’s up, Doc?” – Ellen Kennedy’s Carrots. We will soon receive peas and beans from their fertile plantings. The Moseleys supply us with Swiss chard and other greens that we use in soups and salads. We are indeed blessed. BUT, the queen of crops that we celebrate is the Celebrity Tomato. This variety is neither the prettiest or tastiest, but it is the hardiest.

Our previous garden was washed away by IKE who left nothing but a gulch filled with sand. Marcel read every publication and followed advice from the experts. He has invented his own method of growing plants that thrive only 250 yards from the beach. His crop withstands salt spray and heavy winds. I call his fence The Great Wall of China because it is so high. He worries about his plants like a father does his children. I do not know all of the concoctions that he mixes to produce these juicy, red orbs. They are fed with mixtures of fertilizer, aspirins and eggs.

A major enemy of our garden is the state bird. We have followed all suggestions to ward off this evil infiltrator. We have stopped any nests started in the eaves of our house, hung out red Christmas balls, put rubber snakes on the stalks and build scarecrows to no avail. I have cautioned Marcel that you can get away with shooting some animals in Texas, but it would not be a good idea, “To Kill A Mockingbird”.

Last week, Marcel came up the stairs with a smile on his face and a tomato in his hand. It was the first one of the year. I could not wait to make my favorite tomato treat.

Fry up good thick bacon, toast some homemade bread, slather on mayo, add some lettuce, slice a fresh tomato and put it all together. Viola! Sandwich of the gods – Bacon, Lettuce, TOMATO. It is the first BLT of 2020. Who cares whether a tomato is a fruit or vegetable? Thanks, Marcel.

PS: The answer to the question: A tomato is a fruit and a vegetable.

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2 Responses to “The First Tomato of 2020!”

  1. The only good thing about this pandemic is my forced proximity to the “nectar of the gods,” Marcel’s tomatoes. The best part of the whole year is when he starts “begging” people to take the excess. Rest assured, I don’t need any begging. I am waiting with my fork and salt shaker for the first give-away batch:) xxoo

  2. Brenda Beust Smith says:

    How much to rent Marcel?

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