What excess tomatoes have to do with life


Too many tomatoes. From two plants I’m not the only one going through this rightnow.You take them to work, offer them to friends, but it seems to never stop.It’s similar to what we go through is other areas of life; you have times of surplus and times of want. How do you deal with either of them?

I grew up in a family of modest means, the youngest of five kids.I remember taking everything I could get when I could get it. Maybe I remember it incorrectly, but I remember a free for all. As an adult, I’ve had to get used to slowing down while eating. I have a friend, Rob, who is a notoriously slow eater. Sorry, Rob.Everyone else is done eating, and he’s still in the middle of his meal. I often wish I could be like him; savoring each bite, every bite. 

Anyway,about five years ago, I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. I was extremely overweight, and my blood sugar was CRAZY high. My doctor told me she wouldn’t know how to treat me if I were to come down with an infection because my blood chemistry was so bad. I knew I had to make a change, and a change right then in order to survive. Through self-examination, I determined I didn’t just want to survive,I wanted to thrive. I had gone through a period of excess...surplus. 

It was then that I changed the way I approached food. Up to that point, food had been something to devour. It had been all about quantity and not quality. My favorite was the all you could eat sushi and apps at a downtown restaurant. $20 and I could hang at the table for a couple of hours. I kind of miss that, but I found a better way.

Instead of quantity, it turns out that quality can be more important, but only if you want it to be. The French, specifically French chefs, have a way of explaining this. It’s that you should have amazing food, but only in moderation. It’s the experience of allowing the flavors of food to wash over you so you can truly consume the food in all the ways responsible.

So, tomatoes.We have HUNDREDS of cherry tomatoes. I could maybe make a smashed cherry tomato caprese salad. But, instead, I am taking in each one of the cherry tomatoes like I used to eat M&M’s. How do you deal with a surplus of, well, anything? My suggestion is to, first, enjoy the individual bounty of the fruit. Next, try to find a way to draw together all of the ingredients you would need to make a symphony of flavor. BUT! But, please don’t listen to the entire...eat the entire symphony at once. Please, just listen to one movement at a time.


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