I say tomato

veggie patch
When I was a kid, I used to go out to the garden and see how many cherry tomatoes I could fit into my mouth at once. Yes ladylike, but it gets worse. When I'd squeezed in the last one, I'd lay down in the grass, head turned to the side and count the seconds till they'd pop.

When you live in the country with no other kids around, you gotta do what you gotta do to amuse yourself. I was a really weird kid. Still am.

veggie patch
When I was home this week, I didn't stuff my face full of tomatoes with quiet the same, um, youthful creativity but I did eat more than would be considered proper right off the vine.

veggie patch
We used to grow enough tomatoes to set up a farm stand along the side of the road and my dad would let Micha and I manage it. We'd put our profits into the "horse fund" piggy bank. Micha was the fund's manager and somehow we never got those horses we wanted in middle school. Someone alert the SEC!

veggie patch
The smell of honest to goodness tomato leaves makes me weak in the knees. It is, without a doubt, the one smell that inescapably reminds me of being a kid. A few others? A small town hardware store (no, home depot doesn't count) and baking bread. I know for my mom, it's gardenias and horse barns. Isn't it funny how certain scents can be so evocative of childhood?

66 comments:

  1. I'm growing some tomatoes at the moment and it's my first time trying. The first vine was ripe the other day so it's come off and is on my kitching window sill, and goodness they are so sweet and delicious! I'll definately be getting some other types and try them out next year. I hope to get a lot of vegitables out next year and this year was just a little experiment to see my growing skills hehe.

    Holly x

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  2. I stuffed my face with tomatoes when I was a kid too! I have actually usurped my in-law's garden and the tomato plants are my favorite thing to care for. I love the way the plants smell and it definitely reminds me of being a kid and my mom's garden. Thank you for posting!

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  3. These tomatoes look so good...my Grandmother grows some really delicious ones, which I hope to be tasting as soon as I get to her place for a visit.

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  4. I totally agree w/you, smells can evoke childhood memories for sure... I am amazed that u liked tomatoes as a young kid... Most kids hate tomatoes ...

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  5. I so love tomatoes! One of my earliest memories is eating some cherry tomatoes from a plant that was grown at my dad's work by another employee. Not sure why he planted it at work but I sure enjoyed the tomatoes. I started reading your blog a couple of weeks ago and have to say that I love it - I visit everyday.

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  6. So when I was little, my dad and I planted a cherry tomatoe plant. Every morning after it had sprouted, he would say "did you check it this morning?" So after about 2 weeks of religious 7 AM checking, I got discouraged. The next day he said "Did you check it? I really think you should check it!" So I ran outside and there was a perfectly perched and perfectly ripe, cherry tomatoe....that he had balanced in the croock of the plant. It was just as delicious as it was full of lies!

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  7. Yum! Vine ripe tomatoes are the best! I have settled for store tomatoes for a long time, but I remember the real thing well. Great post!

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  8. Good morning Emerson,
    I have fallen in love with your blog!
    It is so real and a refreshing read.
    As for tomatoes-they are my summer passion
    fruit! Whether it's green fried tomatoes or beefsteak tomato salad or just eating them like apples summer has always included these jewels.

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  9. my summer scent is rootbeer. we used to go to our local drive-in / carhop where they had homemade rootbeer and coney dogs. to this day whenever i smell rootbeer, i think of summer and happiness.

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  10. Bacon grease. That fried smell reminds me of my grandparents' house, which to this day smells like breakfast 24 hours a day. Since I've recently begun cooking bacon and eggs for my new hubby, our house has that smell at the end of the day and I love it!

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  11. Evergreen trees. Sunscreen. And old books. Those are smells of my childhood. Scent is the strongest sense tied to memory you know!

    As for tomatoes, every year my mother would take a picture with me and her best, most beautiful batch of the summer. And every year, without fail, as I would be holding her prize-worthy tomato... I would 'accidentally' squish my thumbs into it. She would then pretend to be mad for a minute and then we would slice it up and eat it with cheese.

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  12. tee hee ... the image of a mouthful of cherry (i say) tomatoes is too much fun! i was just thinking about that bite into a tomato off the vine and the big squirt of juiciness in your mouth ~ bliss!
    and yes! the smell of a small town hardware store is the best ... and if the floor creaks, all the better! a friend and i both have had dreams of working in one, just so we could smell that smell ... and count bolts in the bin ... nah, you're not a crazy kid!
    one of our sons is living my 'dream' ... working in a small town home hardware til he is done high school and he is learning all the nuts and bolts of the biz!
    thanks emerson ~ you really are like a doc's rx ... an apple a day ~ sweet!
    prairiegirl xo

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  13. I hated tomatoes as a child...except for fresh, home-grown cherry tomatoes. ;-) Those I loved!

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  14. I love tomatoes. I love the cherry ones too. When I was a kid, I loved the smell of Home Depot (and I still do). If that smells wonderful, I wonder how much better your hardware stores smells.

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  15. I went crazy for those yellow pear tomatoes in our garden when I was little. For me, it's the smell of the dirt that really gets me. Whether its potting soil or mud pudding in the tree house, I really just need a little under my fingernails to be transported to happy. Thanks for your lovely posts!

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  16. I totally do the same thing with cherry tomatoes. Best way to eat them!

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  17. Thats soo cool
    I love tomatoes :) haha

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  18. I feel fortunate to live in an area where I can still find the smells (I prefer to call aromas) of my childhood.

    Beware the cherry tomato (my favorite) should you pop it in and bite down without closing your mouth. I could have lost a good friend that way. :)
    Great post. Blessings from Journaling Woman

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  19. Hey Emerson,
    I love your tomatoes,and the smell you offered us.In case you visit my blog: cutand-dry.blogspot.com
    I'm following you.Not even reply of thks.I know that in the same blog buddies' market,we usally do so.
    Never mind.
    All the best'
    Betty

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  20. the perfect post! I couldn't agree more about how wonderful bursting tomatoes are!

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  21. My friend had grown up in Austin, Texas, and told me that during one particular summer, the Texans had received more rain than any other summer before. As a result, the tomato plants had soaked up so much water that all the tomatoes exploded with juices and you couldn't walk through the town without stepping in some. And the scent was apparently intoxicating.

    Wouldn't that be lovely!

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  22. I could almost eat the photographs. Reminds me of my Father's vegetable garden. Nothing better than vine-ripened (and not in a hot house) heirloom tomatoes. Yummy!

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  23. Those tomatoes look amazing...almost burgundy in color. YUM!!

    By the way, I think you have a bone to pick with your sister. Where did all those roadside funds go???

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  24. I love tomatoes.. That's the best part of country living, you grow your own food.

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  25. wow. i love hearing about everyone's favorite childhood smells. Rootbeer, bacon grease? you are my kind of people!

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  26. looking good, I grow Tamerlio's (tree tomatoes) they are great fried with bacon and eggs.

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  27. I know just what you mean. We grew up on a farm and we too were kind of weird in a way. My sister would eat so many cherry tomatoes - the acid in them would make her break out - but no matter we would eat and eat. Yes, the smell is wonderful. I still grow a garden and tomatoes every year and that includes cherry tomatoes. Took some to my brother this weekend.

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  28. beautiful pictures! And I love how smells can trigger so many memories....sometimes a smell, even if only for a quarter of a second, can make you feel like you have transported back to that time (purely magical!)

    Paulina

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  29. Ummm, those tomatoes look delish! For me it's the smell of German sweets that my Grandmother and Mom were always baking.

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  30. I enjoyed reading your site and recent post. My husband and I were just discussing what we would do with the tremendous crop of tomatoes we have this year. Happy eating.

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  31. For me, it's strawberry fields, pines, and marinas. It's like time travel!

    I loooooove me some tomatoes. Raw, stewed, or pickled, I've never met a tomato I didn't like! And your parents' crop looks absolutely scrumptious!

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  32. my sisters are both younger than me and absolutley love cherry tomatoes.
    we have never grown tomatoes but my great grandma grew some cherry tomatoes one year and when we went for a visit my sisters basically stripped the vines. My cousins were'nt to impressed when they got there a couple days later. =D

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  33. I love how all the city kids think you are so weird for this.

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  34. I loved this post..
    My Nana grows tomatoes and i find myself out in her garden sneaking a few at every opportunity :)

    Also in England right now we have an increase of white butterflies, and they are attracted to the tomatoe plants.. i love standing at the bottom of the garden, munching on a fresh tomato whilst watching the butterflies fluttering around. So so beautiful x

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  35. Love this. The smell of home-grown tomatoes is one I will always treasure from my country childhood...

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  36. I try to grow tomatoes every year and every year they refuse to ripen in our watery wiltshire sunshine. Any tips would be gratefully received. The smell of the leaves reminds me of my grandfather's greenhouse.

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  37. why am I picturing you as a chipmunk with cheek pouches bulging.... such a great image.. cherry tomatoes and kids.. squish... perfect... every year... when I get the first whiff of honeysuckle scent.. it takes me back to the same place and same time on a particular summer night in my early childhood... memory is funny....
    "you say tomato.. and I say.. what a really wonderful post this one is...."

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  38. I'm jealous of everyone else's tomatoes because all my HUGE (I'm talking like 6 feet tall, I have no idea why) tomato plant is doing is starting to wilt. Stupid thing. I'm starting to wonder if the lady at the farmer's market lied and it's not a tomato plant. It's got the right leaves though!

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  39. Not a huge tomato fan even though I grew up with gardens all around. But, I love the photos and article. As kids we had a roadside spot and sold peanuts and potatoes. Great memories!

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  40. yamii, tomatos are my favorite vegetable especially with aubergine salad.

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  41. The heirloom tomatoes you pictured all have picturesque names: Green Zebra, Black Cherry and Ox Heart.

    The Ox Heart is especially pretty when sliced cuz it forms the shape of a heart. Gotta love that!

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  42. Every New Years Day my Dad would start tomato seeds and put them in a picture window to sprout.


    Your post makes me want to carry on that tradition.

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  43. I enjoyed looking at your blog. Good to see someone else interested in vintage, thrift and antique stuff.
    Your tomato stuffing reminded me of when I was a kid and would go to the neighbors garden with a cold biscuit or a piece of cornbread and pull her green onions and eat them right there while sitting in the dirt.

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  44. I enjoyed looking at your blog! Great photos!

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  45. Yeah Def. a cool blog. Now big kids are seeing how many candy bars fit in a mouth. how times have changed. Cold-Celebs

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  46. Loving the toms too. My folks have been growing them and I'm hoping this weekend when I head home they'll be finally ripe enough to eat!

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  47. Tee Hee~
    Tasteful pictures, love.
    I want some. Share with me?

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  48. I once had a 'Tomato" scented candle ...it was divine. Reminds me of Grandpa Purge's farm when I smell them. Almost everyday I go to the garden just to inhale. Some folks stop n smell the roses ...for me its the tomatoes.

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  49. I love eating a tomato big or small right off the vine. There is no sweeter taste then bending down to pop one in my mouth. This time of year tomato sandwiches are my fav. BTW I came over from Prairie Girl and instantly feel in love with your blog I signed up right away to follow. Have a golden day! xoxo

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  50. I am a Tomato GrowingGrandma! I hope my Grands are collecting memories like yours.

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  51. Hm, for me it would be a combination of old books, coffee, pine trees, and whatever scent it was from those little soaps that were always in my grandma's bathroom. You know something? Mt. Rushmore wasn't nearly as wonderful as I had expected it to be. I think it was just because my friend and I were so overwhelmed by the intense nature that we had been seeing, that anything mad made was only second best. But I would still recommend going!


    x
    Jess.

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  52. This post reminded me of when I was little and picked tomatoes at my uncles house. Your pics are yummy :)

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  53. It's amazing how much different home grown tomatoes smell (amazing) compared to ones you find at the grocery store!

    http://xointhecity.blogspot.com/

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  54. here is your childhood all wrapped up in one candle: http://www.smallflower.com/product/21810

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  55. oh man I could stick my face in any of those and live happily ever after.

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  56. I think my childhood-reminiscent smells would have to be freshly mowed grass that wonderful earthy scent that comes just after it rains.

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  57. I LOVE tomatoes,and im pretty sure you cant beat true texas tomatoes. :D

    I know the scent thing! Mine would have to be my grandma's perfume and quice.

    -Luke.

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  58. Back when I was a kid, my dad used to have a huge garden every summer. Tall stalks of corn and rows of peas and eggplant and cucumbers and sunflowers and yep, lots of tomatoes. Rows of cherry tomatoes. And I'd go out and pick 'em and pop them straight into my mouth and they'd be all warm and lovely.

    And yeah, tomato plant leaves smell awesome. Even though you and I seem to only be able to grow midget tomatoes, it's almost worth it to do it anyway so you can get a hit off the leaves whenever you want to.

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  59. seriously amanda. what's up with the midget tomatoes?

    i couldn't even bring myself to try this year.

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  60. Christie...I'm with you out in the fresh cut grass. When we were kids we delighted in piling up fragrant grass into nests and pretend we were chickens laying eggs. Complete with clucking and squawking!

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  61. Being in my Dad's garden, surrounded by towering corn stalks, sun light filtering down, warm and rich. It was more sacred and awe inspiring than a giant cathedral. The communion was raw corn and juicy ripe tomatoes.

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  62. My mom used to set my sister and I out into the back yard as kids with salt shakers in hand, we could salt and eat tomatoes for HOURS!

    I haven't had a garden since living at my parents and this summer I finally decided to put in the work. My dad and I planted a bazillion (give or take ;-)) tomatoes. About a month after getting them growing I had allergy testing done. Guess what I don't get to eat anymore!?!?!?! It's like a cruel joke!!!! So many tomatoes going bad, I can't give them away fast enough and it breaks my heart cuz they smell DIVINE and I didn't get to taste a single one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Cruel world.

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  63. We grow heirloom tomatoes on the farm I work at and I was wondering what varieties you're growing. I must say, they look delicious.

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  64. I so agree with you. I grew up in the country, too and I guess these nostalgic moments never really leave us wherever we live at the present. Now, I live in the city and I miss the countryside more.

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