It’s summer’s end and if we’re lucky our farm stands and gardens are full of tomatoes so ripe and full you can slit them with your fingernail. I defy you to tell me what’s better than one of those tomatoes sliced warm from the garden on two pieces of white bread with homemade mayonnaise and salt and pepper. I’ll give you a minute…
Garrison Keillor once said, “Sex is good, but not as good as fresh, sweet corn.” Which can only mean he has never had a tomato sandwich as described above.
Preacher (aka rector of St Mark’s-in-the-Valley in Los Olivos, Ca.) has pursued food themes lately in his sermons. Spiritual food, food we take for granted, food we grow, that kind of thing. “Can you hear the voice of God in that tomato?” he asked the other day. He meant it to be funny, but I turned to Pete (short for Patricia and I need to ask her about that) and said “of course you can.” I can’t even believe he asked because honey if God isn’t in a ripe homegrown tomato, I don’t know where She is. The goodness and juicy-sweet-saltyness of a ripe homegrown tomato is proof of the Divine if ever there was.
Homemade mayonnaise is also key, but I am too lazy to make it when I can fake it just as well. This also skips the whole raw egg thing, which is a concern to some.
- 2 cups prepared mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
- Whisk ingredients together and adjust to taste. Try not to eat half of it with a spoon like I do because that is disgusting but you can't help it. Put in a plain Ball jar with your own label so it looks like the real thing.
To my surprise and delight, the gluten-free flatbread they make at East Hampton Gourmet Food has taken me somewhere new, made with rice and seeds and garlic and spices, delish. And the tomato sandwich, mmmmwanh! To wit:
My mother would give me a recipe she considered perfect, which went without saying. Knowing my rebellious tendencies she would always add, “And don’t mess with it.” I would anyway, and she’d be right. I’m older and wiser now.
Some people fancy up a tomato sandwich with basil and such. Me I don’t mess with it.
Be sweet and have a great holiday weekend. See you next week.