Pretty much wherever in the US you happen to be, it’s pretty obvious that summer is here in full swing. I think we’ve had 15 straight days at 90 or above in SW Ohio; I’m ready for a break. However, humidity isn’t the only thing that goes on in summer… Foods are fresher than any other time, right off the farms and into the kitchen!
In Ohio, where I live, this time of year brings out farmers’ stands with fresh corn, beans, and anything else they’ve got in their fields. Summer fruits, though mostly from south of here, are usually readily available, too.
There’s something almost fundamental to my make-up that needs to be around farms. I don’t care how high tech some of the equipment gets, it’s still planting seeds in the soil and getting plants to grow. It’s one of the first jobs Adam had to do on the planet, and it’s fundamentally unchanged today. I can watch the stock market or any number of economic indicators to see how the economy is doing at a given time, but there’s more meaning in some ways in driving by fields, seeing how the crops are doing. One of them is a mental exercise, the other is natural to me.
In 1999, I moved to Atlanta for a while, away from the country. The area I lived in was really nice, but, on a trip home in October, I realized I was missing the feel of how the crops were doing. I’d felt that I’d lost touch with an aspect of life that meant something to me.
Now that I’m back in Ohio, living near a small town, I get to see this all spring and summer long. Seeing the corn grow and get tassles, seeing the hay and straw reaped and bundled, noticing the soybeans haven’t dried out yet… It’s all an important part of summer to me. Funny thing is, I’ve never worked on a farm, other than a week in 1978 when friends and I helped a farmer bale hay.
But I know that all this farm stuff means fresh veggies! My favorite food to get fresh in August, though, has to be tomatoes. My wife grew a couple of plants this year, and we’re just now starting to see the tomatoes ripen. This, in turn, means Bacon Tomato Sandwiches!!! Yeah, there’s supposed to be Lettuce in there, too, but I really prefer these with no lettuce for some reason.
I like to slice the tomatoes fairly thick, and use a good pepper bacon. There’s no skill in making a BT sandwich… Make your bacon, slice your tomatoes, toast your bread. Spread on as much or little mayo as you like, add the B, add the T, and eat!