Tucked down low on my Gold Medal plant, behind just enough leaves that I didn’t notice it at first, sat the monster. This thing was the tomato equivalent of a baseball bat zucchini: one day it was just a little blossom, and the next thing I knew, it had morphed into a fruit that required me to stretch my hand just to hold it.
It turned yellow, then red streaks blushed up its sides. It was the most beautiful tomato I may have ever seen.
After I finally noticed it, I began planning for its demise. Its delicious, delicious demise. This was the tomato for which I had waited all my life, and I was going to enjoy every bite of it. No sharing, no invitations to friends.
Mine. All mine.
But what to do? I thought. Caprese salad? BLT?
I’d like to say I spend very little time debating between those two options, but in July and August, that’s just not the case. The more tomatoes, the better, as far as I’m concerned.
When I went to harvest the tomato, I discovered an interesting fact. I’d worried so much about how heavy it was, but when it came down to it, that sucker was attached so firmly I thought I was going to have to uproot the plant to get it off. It required garden shears to detach it. One clean cut, and it dropped into my hand with a satisfying smack.
I admired it awhile. I left in on the windowsill for 24 hours, just so I could walk into the kitchen and smile at it. I would like to say I don’t feel lust in my heart for tomatoes, and I can honestly say that I don’t feel lust in my heart for all tomatoes, but this one? It was inspiring.
When it came time to make the decision about how to eat it, it was a Wednesday, which meant I had good bread from my CSA. That ordinarily would have tipped the decision in favor of going the BLT route, and it did…until I finished slicing enough tomato for my overstuffed sandwich. That’s when I realized I had about 75 percent of the tomato left.
My solution? Caprese salad too. And a repeat of the same combination the next night. That’s right, folks. That tomato made it through two huge caprese salads and two giant BLTs. And it was just as good as I thought it would be.