In April a really sweet man died suddenly. He was a good friend of our family, a man of many diverse talents, and we all miss him terribly still.
But life goes on in that awful, inexorable, healing way. Somehow we get past the initial pain, which transforms into a phantom limb, no longer there but inexplicably vividly felt when thought about.
Kenny was also a gardener. So I inherited a couple of tomato plants that he'd started.
These are no ordinary tomato plants, oh no. They are tomato plants that Kenny had propagated from seeds that he'd been saving from one year to the next year for the past forty years.
No pressure or anything.
I am really brilliant at growing weeds and the thought of having to nurture these tender plants (when I got them they were only just newborn plants) to full growth was totally stressful.
Completely gave me a case of Dontfuckitupitis and fearing a constipated summer, I called in an expert.
My good friend ABanana lives near me with her boyfriend who knows all about such things in nature. He kindly came over and saved my bacon. He brought over cages (who knew tomatoes aren't cage-free!?) and compost and good advice, which I followed to the letter.
The end result is that last night I picked me one of these:
I have to say that I am not a fan of raw tomatoes 99% of the time. Most supermarket tomatoes seem mushy and mostly flavorless to me and I will occasionally get some from a farm stand, but not often enough to be like "oh yeah, I like raw tomatoes".
But this one was different. Of course it was, I helped it grow! And then I ate it. Rawr....
Honestly this tomato was like eating warm summer sunlight. So good. I chopped it up, and tossed it with some pesto, chickpeas, Nicoise olives, and a little crumble of goat feta.
And to Kenny, wherever you are, thank you. We love you and we miss you.