Sunday, August 19, 2007

Edible summer.

Sometimes it's not a bad thing to be a single guy living in an apartment.

I say this because in the past few weeks friends and coworkers have been giving up their summer garden vegetables, mostly because they can't possible eat them all before they go bad.

Which makes me feel good because - hey, we all win, right?

Last Tuesday at Rotary, Donna was complaining she had "way too many" tomatoes getting ripe for her and her husband to eat. So I volunteered myself to take them, and she showed up at work a few hours later with a trunk full. Jackpot.

My grandma's are getting ripe too, which means cherry tomatoes galore. And Liz at work brought in these giant cucumbers, which will go great with a few dashes of salt.

Besides being cheap (read: free), getting your hands on local vegetables has all kinds of benefits. Taste being the most important.

I remember as a kid going out to my grandma Maxine's house, and picking fresh green beans and corn and broccoli out of her garden. Maybe that instilled in me my appreciation for fresh veggies, because now - unless it's winter - I avoid canned goods strictly out of taste and principle.

How, after all, can you beat an ear of fresh sweet corn?

Fresh, garden-grown vegetables have the distinct honor of tasting great without flourish. In other words, you don't need to dress them up, or even cook them, to appreciate their flavor. Maybe a few slabs of butter on corn or beans, or a sprinkle of salt on a newly-cut watermelon, but that's all you need.

Plus I'm helping relieve my friends and neighbors of their burden, so in a way I'm doing some charity. We wouldn't want them to be overwhelmed with tomatoes, would we? No, we wouldn't.

So bring me your almost-ripe, your vine-grown, your freshly-picked. None of it will go to waste.

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