Posted tagged ‘native tomatoes’

“Happiness is your dentist telling you it won’t hurt and then having him catch his hand in the drill.”

September 11, 2014

Not only has fall unofficially begun on Cape Cod but so has chartered bus season. On my way to the dentist this morning, my reason for the lateness of the hour, I saw four buses filled with what I used to say were old folks but now I think of as my contemporaries. I have no idea what is on their itineraries as we don’t travel in the same circles, but I do see the buses parked at a variety of motels on Route 28, mostly in Yarmouth. They’ll fill restaurants and motels during the week, the slow part of this shoulder season. It’s a good thing.

I hated the dentist when I was a kid. The one my father took me to was a sadist who used neither novocaine nor gas. The dentist was really old and had been my father’s dentist. I swear he pressed a foot pedal to keep his drill spinning. It was always painful, and tears would silently run down my cheek. I would grasp the arms of the chair with all my strength, and I swear I left indentations of my fingers on the undersides of the arms. That put me off dentists for years unless I had a toothache. It was only when I needed to have them perfect for Peace Corps that I forced myself to go. The dentist, who was near school, was basically painless as long as I didn’t look at the novocaine needle. My father nicely agreed to pay the bill as I had rotted my teeth on his time. After that it would be my responsibility. I go to the dentist every six months to have my teeth cleaned. He is the same dentist I started with in 1972, and I don’t mind him at all though that novocaine needle still looks so long I don’t know why it doesn’t reach through my cheek. Today my hygienist told me I do a good job with the brushing and flossing. I should have gotten a star.

I stopped at a farm star on my way home and also at the store for a few groceries. I got some native tomatoes and honey crisp apples at the stand and rolls and lettuce at the store. I’m thinking a BLT for lunch.

“A vegetable garden in the beginning looks so promising and then after all little by little it grows nothing but vegetables, nothing, nothing but vegetables.”

July 5, 2012

It is the loveliest of mornings, sunny and cool. When I let Gracie outside, I followed her and stood on the deck for the longest time surveying my world and enjoying the start of the day. My vegetables are growing, and I need to stake my tomatoes as they are growing over the wire tomato thingies ( I don’t know what they’re called. Thingies works just as well for almost anything).

When I was growing up, the only fresh vegetable I remember eating was corn in the summer. I didn’t like tomatoes, and my mother didn’t serve salads. She knew we’d all turn up our noses. I ate canned peas, the small ones, the Le Seure peas; they were my favorite. My mother tricked us by hiding the carrots. She mashed them with the potatoes, and for years I thought potatoes were orange and white. My mother also served canned green beans, and we had to eat a few. All his life my father ate canned asparagus, long after the rest of us had found the joys of fresh vegetables. I remember my mother serving them to him at Thanksgiving. If you held up a spear, the top would fall over; they were a bit mushy. He always had the entire can to himself.

My father loved native tomatoes. Around here, when the vegetable season is at its height, people put out tables in their front yards with a variety of vegetables on them. The prices are usually on a piece of paper taped to the table and the money goes in a can. I’d load up on tomatoes and bring them up to my parents’ house when I visited. My dad would cut the tomatoes, load mayonnaise on his plate and take them into the living where he’d snack and watch TV. He always said there was nothing better than native tomatoes.

My dad would love my garden though I suspect he’d say dibs on the tomatoes!


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