Leila Case: Christmas in July

Published 11:44 am Thursday, July 18, 2019

Tomatoes spell summertime to me. Yes, I know they actually don’t; however, Georgia-grown or better still locally-raised tomatoes are like Christmas in July. Big, fat, juicy, red tomatoes ripe from the vine make the world a better place.

I have the same sentiment for peaches plucked ripe from the tree. Goodness sakes, what a summer treat. Especially the Elberta variety that will be ripe enough to pick in a few weeks; however, those presently available on the local market are delicious.

Anyone who can think of a way to reproduce these summertime treats during the off season to taste the same as they do in summer would make a cool fortune. Oh, you can preserve peaches and tomatoes in a variety of ways from sweet to savory, but it’s only when they’re in season that they’re best.

As soon as local tomatoes became available about a month ago they’ve been on our menu daily. The best way to eat a ripe tomato is out of hand sprinkled with a tad of salt and the next best way is a tomato sandwich made with two slices of white bread slathered with homemade mayonnaise; however, Duke’s Mayonnaise is OK. And if you want to get fancy you can add crispy fried bacon and leaf lettuce for an old-fashioned BLT. This is what we had over the Fourth of July weekend when Helen and Caroline visited.

Frankly, I think the man-who-reads-over-my-shoulder is growing tired of tomato sandwiches for lunch, but he doesn’t complain. He would probably like Tex-Mex more but he’s not in charge of the kitchen.

All in all, it would not be summertime for me without tomatoes and peaches — and I’m not against having them three times a day.

Something else on my mind today is whatever happened to letter writing?

I’m not referring to letters sent through the magic of fiber optic cable called email but hand-written letters on good paper stock and sent through the U.S. Postal Service. And thank-you notes? Does this show of appreciation, especially for the millennial generation not exist? My grandsons Beau and John write thank-you notes because their mama taught them that it is the proper thing to do. Oh, I do receive acknowledgement notes from brides and new parents as well as from others for gifts I’ve given or other reasons, but not often.

The ease and convenience of the internet and use of email most likely are reasons why letter writing took a backseat. and maybe it’s a factor to the rise in cost of the postage stamp.

Oh well, who’s to know the answer? I think I’ll go make a tomato sandwich but not before I write thank-you notes.

Meanwhile, granddaughter Arianne and her husband Cody Scott and their children, Eli, 4, and Anna May, 18 months, are visiting this week from Chandler, Arizona, and guests of her aunt and uncle, Lori and Andy Shivers. Mark Barrett enjoyed deep sea fishing in the Gulf with Clark Bass and other friends, while Anne was touring Italy with Connie Wise of central Florida.

And Kathryn and Brent Moore were guests of her aunt and uncle, Bill and Anne Markette Lee at their summer home in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, during the Fourth of July week and report having an enjoyable time with family and admiring the beautiful scenery and cooler clime. They kayaked with seals and went to a fabulous art exhibit at the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland. Kathryn’s mom and sister, Beth Fowler and Jennifer Fowler visited the preceding week.

Congratulations to those celebrating birthdays: Billy Carter, Casey Shivers, Jenna Kate Shivers, Nichole Buchanan, Natalie Mitcham, Elise Miller, Emily Anne Thomas Strickland, and Tom Harrison.

Leila Sisson Case lives in Americus.