July 27, 2010



By the end of summer, the newsprint was bleached and peppered with tomatoes.


If one needed a tomato for a tomato sandwich, one would walk barefoot across the cool linoleum of the kitchen floor, slide open the screen door, step out onto the warm patio, and lazily pull one from the picnic table.

White bread. Mayonaise. Slice upon slice of juicy red, sweet and dripping. Salt and pepper. The last soggy bit just melting in your mouth as rogue droplets of tomato juice travel from your fingers down your forearm.


While ear after ear of Silver Queen was boiling, mom alternated slices of tomato with onion on a plate. Fanning them around in a perfect circle. Finally sprinkling with Domino sugar.

Contrary, like salted watermelon or salted cantaloupe. It's bliss.


When it was getting to be too much, into the boiling water they went. Their skins peeled. Their bodies jammed into mason jars using waterlogged fingers.

To be used in chili's or for smothering pan fried pork chops with mashed potatoes. Made pink and thickened with a touch of milk and a little flour.


"Isn't this the freshest basil you've ever seen?" The man asked.

So many firsts with Roberto. Caprese in Rehoboth. I had never eaten such a thing.

"How is it, folks?" The man asked refilling our water glasses.

I looked up, my mouth full. I gulped. "It's very good." I said.

The man smiled and walked away.

I would have better in years to come. Much better.


"We'll use the big tomato we bought today." Roberto said.

"That will be perfect." I said.

Thick slices of market tomato alternating with imported buffalo mozzarella and the freshest basil you've ever seen from our garden.

A loving drizzle of the most perfect olive oil, salt, and the slightest crack of black pepper.

When something is this good, it's rude not to talk with your mouth full. "Oh my god. This is good." I said.

The tomato was sooo sweet. Sooo juicy. The mozzarella, it melted on my tongue. Creamy and sweet. The basil, well, that goes without saying.

We sopped up the caprese liquor that had pooled at the bottom of the platter with torn pieces of freshly baked baguette.


It really doesn't get any better than this.



    where did you grow up Tracy? Dripping Tomato sandwiches with just salt and mayo, and silver queen corn (skillet fried, yum) are The Itness of summer in my part of the world, Tennessee.....

  2. You put it perfectly, "bliss". Don't you just love the summertime?

  3. "We sopped up the caprese liquor that had pooled at the bottom of the platter with torn pieces of freshly baked baguette"
    Perfection. You make me crave such a salad, right now!

  4. Hi - you are right, there is nothing better than the colors of the tomatoes and basil and the creaminess of the mozzarella. This is a dish definitely served in heaven! Just beautiful and delicious! By the way, if your are inundated with zucchini like me, I have a great recipe on my blog for a zucchini cannelloni with a sweet tomato sauce (From Pasta Fresca - no sugar in this sauce).

    Ciao, bella!

  5. I like getting to know you through these glimpses into your life--past and present. That buffalo mozzarella looks amazing with those juicy tomatoes.

  6. No it doesn't get any better than that!!!

  7. I am always so amazed by how something as simple as tomatoes, basil and mozza can be so earth shattering, life changing, oh my god delicious!

    Great post and pics:)

  8. I thoroughly enjoyed your post and the thought of heavenly simple caprese salad. As long as dinner consists of Italian food I will be a happy camper now, even happier with caprese salad though :)

  9. Now this is a dish I know very well. Your latest version looks exceptional! You are correct, it doesn't get any better than this.

  10. I love it, so many memories encased in tomatoes.

  11. This is the caprese I wish I'd made. YOu have captured summer in this post, lovely, lovely stuff.
    Now I know what we are having for lunch.

  12. nancy - I've lived in Maryland my whole life. We're almost neighbors :)

    Nicolette - Yes, and I will miss it dearly when fall arrives.

    Uke - :) Thank you

    magda - I hope you made such a salad.

    Frog Hollow Farm Girl - Zucchini and sweet tomato sauce sounds really good :)

    Michele - :) We still have some buffalo hanging out in the fridge. Should make an effort to finish it tonight. Pizza...maybe...

    M. - I can't wait to hit the market again. I dream of more tomatoes and mozzarella.

    The girl behind the blog - :) Thank you. It is quite amazing. The power of food, good food. Amazing.

    Cocina Savant - I hope you get caprese soon, but you are right, as long as dinner consists of Italian food, one cannot help but be a happy camper.

    Denise - I would love to see a Chez Danisse version :)

    Kath - There are. Too many for just one post.

    rachel - I'm sure it will make Vincenzo very happy. I await your caprese post :)

  13. Okay...I just had to come back and look at these images again. I'd eat this for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I'm inspired.

  14. I absolutely adore a caprese salad! Lovely memories. Lovely taste!

  15. You are right, quite right... "It really doesn't get any better than this."

    Beautiful photos too.

  16. Denise - :)

    redmenace - I could eat it every day :)

    gracia - Thank you :)

  17. I am starting to salivate looking at these pictures.


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