Sunday, July 3, 2011

Summertime, and the pigging out is so easy

It happened again. It does every year.

The other day I finally bit into my first perfectly vine-ripened tomato of the year, just a sprinkle of salt, and POW!!!! my mouth exploded in this total absorption of sweet, tomato goodness. Firm texture, juicy, oh, and bright red. Bright red counts.

For me, NOTHING else tastes that good. Nothing!

I remember blogging about a similar event a few summers ago. It seems that one involved a smidge of venison summer sausage as well. Same overwhelming reaction.

Huh. So my favorite food is fresh garden tomatoes. Now I know.

It just sounds a trifle....mundane. (Never mind that my eyes involuntarily close in orgasmic bliss.)

But wait! My favorite food is not just tomatoes, good though they are. My absolute favorite is a perfect, vine-ripened tomato. And that's different.

Actually, my favorite food is pretty much anything fresh. with tomatoes heading the list. They don't have to be organic, but more and more often, they are. Baby spinach. day-old free-range chicken eggs. a perfectly ripe peach. (Ohh, the aroma of a tree full of ripe peaches! and the smell isn't even fattening.) Fresh peppers and chiles, fresh onions, baby squash, zuchinni and okra. Fresh green beans. We can't get them here, but I grew up eating raw about half the English peas I was sent out to pick for dinner. We do have black-eyed peas with snaps. Our cantaloupe are flavorful beyond what most soil can produce.

Fresh cheeses. Increasingly in Texas, we can find the soft, yummy, Mozarella and a host of others cheeses, if often at pretty prices (for the seller.)

I like my meats freshly butchered by a pro. I wish Texas had more affordable lamb, which I love. Conservationists stock more and more of our lakes and ponds with tilapia,which cause our water to taste better and are tasty themselves when caught. Catfish is fine, too. If you are from other climes, you may not know about hush puppies, little balls of cornmeal and chopped onions fried in deep fat to accompany the catfish.

I love my romaine. Some pickled stuff to go with the greens are any kind of olive, artichoke, jicama or water chestnuts. MMM.

In summer, several friends confess and I agree, celery and carrot sticks are sometimes preferable to crackers or bread just because of that fresh thing.

Texas has some very nice-flavored blueberries and blackberries, if not the size of the same produce in greener states. We have our pecans, which unfortunately are becoming so popular in the world our own prices have gone up a bit.

Anyhow, the next time I get one of those questionaires that ask my favorite food, I no longer have to write, "yes." I just state, "fresh."

Golly, gee, that even sounds trendy.

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