Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Tomato Lust

Posted May 23, 2007

I woke up this morning hungry for a tomato sandwich. It happens every year about this time. For more than six months I've been deprived of those luscious orbs of lycopene.

Sure you can find tomatoes at the grocery store every day of the year but there's nothing like a homegrown variety to set your spirits soaring.

Several questions today:

1. Where can you find the perfect tomato and when?

2. What is your favorite variety of tomato?

3. What is the best way to grow tomatoes at home?

4. How do you make the perfect tomato sandwich?

Excuse me while I go fetch some Duke's Mayonnaise. I await your words of wisdom.


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  • wahaka63 May 24, 2007

    Room temperature tomatoes, white bread, Hellmanns, salt and pepper

  • avocadopit May 24, 2007

    "However, I have had the perfect tomato (along with sweet corn) and it was in the garden state--NJ!"

    The best pizza I ever had was in San Diego. Go figure.

  • avocadopit May 24, 2007

    Dukes. Absolutamente!

  • avocadopit May 24, 2007

    Strawbale Gardening

  • WardofTheState May 24, 2007

    I’m reminded of a line from the comedy of the late “Brother” Dave Gardner …something about “(people) eatin’ them mater on white bread samiches… so that you have to lift and eat fast lest it fall through the crust…” How true! On a side note, another delicious treat…a sliced fat red tomato sprinkled with a generous spoonful of sugar. This doesn’t seem to be a Southern custom, but one taught to me by my father, a Hoosier from the little town of Peru, Indiana. We also ate (and everyone laughs at this) pineapple and banana sandwiches on white bread with Duke’s mayo… it’s Goo…ooo…oodd!!

  • hspnc May 24, 2007

    What I saw on food network about growing tomatoes in a bale of wheat straw is to simply cut a hole in the center of the bale (or you can have two holes per bale), pull out the straw where you cut the hole and fill it with soil and and plant the tomoato plant there. If there's another, more detailed method, let me know!

  • Jeff May 24, 2007

    German Johnson is delicious, but in recent years we've become partial to Super Steak. They're typically 1-2 pounds and their sliced diameter often exceeds that of the bread. They're quite meaty with a slightly acidic flavor.

    Adding about 1-2 tablespoons of super phosphate (0-46-0) at planting time will help promote flowering and abundant fruit set and it will not burn the plant roots when used judisciouly and well mixed in the soil. Avoid using high nitrogen fertilizers or you'll have "Jack-in-the-Beanstalk" plants with little fruit for your effort.

  • harnettcounty May 24, 2007

    Would someone please post how to grow the tomatoes in wheatstraw? We have misplaced the instructions and would really like to try this method. We have a jar of Duke's just waiting for a fresh batch of maters!!!

  • rjhnsn May 23, 2007

    THE BEST tomatoe sandwich is picked from the garden and sliced thick and laid in a fresh warm biscuit slathered with mayo and salt and fresh ground black pepper.

  • hspnc May 23, 2007

    Does anyone know where to get the wheatstraw bales? I stopped by Home Depot yesterday and they have only pinestraw. I saw this method of growing tomatoes in a bale of wheat straw on food network. I hope it works! I have nowhere to plant them otherwise. Does anyone have any advice on growing them this way? My Granddaddy always grew Better Boys, Big Boys and German Johnson in his garden. I love tomatoes at breakfast with a fried egg, bacon, grits and homemade biscuits! And of course, the tomato sandwich, on lighly toasted white bread with a bit of mayo is always delicious! I can't wait for them!




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Bill Leslie