Tales of the Tomato Man
This June has surprised me with such an early bounty of garden vegetables.
Friends have treated us to fresh leaf lettuce picked that morning, cabbage, green onions, green beans and homemade kraut. We savored some fresh corn whose silky tasseled ears when shucked revealed full kernels of white and gold. After an eight-minute full boil, salt, pepper and butter only complemented such tender and delicious corn you could ever desire.
Zucchini squash and cucumbers have become a daily repast. I have been waiting for home-grown tomatoes, which became available at Ben Bulloch’s yesterday. I have been enjoying Ben’s tomatoes for years, in sandwiches, salads, biscuits and sometimes just with salt and pepper. His tomatoes are sometimes large enough to make five sandwiches just from one tomato.
Some are even larger — how large? One green tomato was so large that it took three frying pans to make fried green tomatoes. One person put a tomato on his windowsill but had to prop it up with a bread box. A neighbor of Ben’s lost a horse for a day because it was only neigh high to one tomato. OK, these are tall tales about Ben’s tomatoes, but one thing is a sure fact: His tomatoes are grown the old-fashioned way, are worth the wait, the best I ever tasted and just as delicious this year.
Ben is a grand storyteller. Yesterday he said his father drove a “four-80” car in summer in order for the family to stay cool. Four doors and 80 miles per hour. Ben has a serve–yourself honor garden stand out on Laurinburg Road. You can call him for directions. If you run into Ben you might get a story, too, about his garden fare.
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