Friday's Weekend Column
Eat Your Vegetables Jimmy
by James Glaser
Yes, my mother would be proud of me this week. I have been eating fresh ripe tomatoes every way you can think of and the sweet corn is at its peak right now. My mother has had a tomato every day since she was about five, she is now in her eighties, so I figure they must be good for you. Get this, she eats peanut butter and tomato sandwiches on toast.
Tomatoes you pick off the vine in your garden are the best you will ever have. This year we raised Beefsteak and Goliath. I like a tomato that will cover the sandwich with one slice. That slice along with a few pieces of bacon, some fresh lettice, some mayonnaise and a little salt on home made bread, nothing can top that.
Just writing about that sandwich made me go start another one to eat. Mom would be so proud. I ran out of fresh sweet corn, but the Farmers market is tomorrow and I will get some more. Corn can be dangerous because you can abuse it as it tastes so good. Lots of butter and salt will do the trick and it is so hard to stop eating it.
There are many ways to cook corn, but the most important thing, is to cook it as soon as you can after picking, because the sugar starts to turn to starch right away. Some people have their water boiling before they pick the corn. You can also take the silk off the cob and leave the wrapping on, dip it in water and grill it on the Weber or you can shuck the cob and wrap it in a paper towel and microwave it for two minutes and it is done.
Right now I am frying bacon for that sandwich. It is store bought and not as good as from our pig that Farmer Ron raises for us down the road., I stopped to see the pigs this week and Ron's wife Vicky walks up to the pigs and they lay right down waiting for their scratch, Vicky rubs them down, talks to them, sprays them with the hose, and I swear those pigs are smiling at her.
We have been eating lots of fresh peas, young potatoes, corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuce. Many neighbors are making pickles, sauerkraut, pickled beets, and it is almost time for us to start jelly making.
When I moved up here after getting out of the Marines, I had no idea that people still did things like that. After all these years up here I thought I had tried every way to eat the things you grow in the garden, but every year somebody has me try their brand of pickles or their way of making "new peas and potatoes" with a white sauce.
Gardens are a lot of work and the wild animals can frustrate you. Deer will eat anything you grow and the raccoons will take all the corn, even the chipmunks will eat your raspberries and strawberries and just today I caught one starting to carry off a small melon.
Even with all the work and time you put in tilling, planting, weeding, weeding and watering, the reward of fresh grown produce with no chemicals is worth the effort and if you want your children to love eating vegetables, then get them to grow their own. It will become a life time habit.
You might not of read about this death of an American Soldier, as he was not listed as a combat death, but rather an accident. It happened south of Baghdad and one Soldier was killed and one injured when their vehicle hit another when they came under attack with small arms fire.
One US Soldier was killed and two wounded by an improvised explosive device in Baghdad.
BACK to the Essays.