Monday, August 8, 2011

Summer's Sandwich

Plum tomatoes -- Romas and San Marzanos have been ripening for several weeks now. And they've found their way into salads and sandwiches where they've been a welcome addition. But really, plum tomatoes are meant for canning or roasting or cooking into sauce. They're not what we call a 'eating tomato.' 

Now however, the true eating tomatoes are coming in -- Brandywine, Cherokee Purple, Red Zebra . . . I have about twenty of these and some I can't identify. Claui gave me a unlabeled mixed assortment of little plants and I'm enjoying seeing what shows up.
Yesterday I enjoyed my first tomato sandwich of the season. When these big beauties ripen, a tomato sandwich is mandatory .

Bread, mayonnaise, thick slices of a good eating tomato (I used Cherokee Purple and Brandywine) and some salt.  That's all. It should be goopy -- some people eat their mater sandwiches while leaning over the sink. 

The bread should be sliced white loaf bread. Some swear by Wonder bread or its equivalent. I prefer homemade but in view of the heat, bought some  sliced country white from the grocery deli. You want soft bread so the juice of the tomato and the mayo can soak in a bit.
 


I have heard some loose talk to the effect that Duke's mayo is the only choice for a proper Southern sandwich  -- to which I say, not so! My very Southern family always used Hellman's or, on special occasions, homemade mayonnaise. I am addicted to homemade mayonnaise -- so that's what I use -- lemony, a little sweet, a little spicy (I put cayenne pepper in my recipe) -- it's perfect, if I do say so myself.

Plain salt, or salt and pepper, or Jane's Krazy salt are the final touch. 


A gift of the summer heat that can make a body want to shout, like the old man at the joyous climax of a fiddle tune, "O Lord, why's Man born to die?"

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26 comments:

Ms. A said...

My folks loved a good tomato sandwich.

Brian Miller said...

mmm love a good tomato sandwich...my great uncle used to eat them all the time and i made them for him when i cared for him...one of my clients just gave us a bag of garden tomatoes so i have been enjoying those sandwiches all week....

Glenda C. Beall said...

I like my tomato sandwiches on white bread with Hellman's mayo, too.
Your sandwich makes me hungry and I think I'll go make me one right now.

Reader Wil said...

You are probably just as good a cook as a writer. The orange fruit on the blue dish make such a beautiful combination and contrast. I love these colours.

Witch of Stitches said...

I love tomatoes any way, but there's nothing like a tomato sandwich with mayo! Yummy.

Martin H. said...

Yum, yum! And I love that final paragraph.

Pat in east TN said...

There is nothing better then a big, old tomato sandwich ... YUM! I've had several so far this summer and each seems better then the last.

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

I adore tomato sandwiches and could eat them every day for the rest of my life. In Vicksburg, Ms. they serve big platters of tomato sandwiches at parties as appetizers. They fancy them up a bit and cut them into rounds and sprinkle them with a little paprika.

I prefer Hellmans also. I grew up on homemade mayonnaise and Hellmans is a close as you can get. Dukes it a little sweet for me. I figured you were going to make homemade mayo. I saw your recipe on your other website and it's similar to mine. You've inspired me to make it now.
Sam

Thérèse said...

Your pics speak for themselves and your description adds the final touch for a sandwich longing...

Friko said...

This is one of my favourite posts of yours ever.

Such joy, such earthiness, such joie de vivre, such gluttony ! (Strike the gluttony, I'm joking)

And the quote at the end just brought me up short in wonder.

Mama-Bug said...

Think I'll make me one for breakfast; can't wait for lunch!

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

Vicki -- congrats on your first tomato sandwich of the summer. I really believe they should have a day in August called "tomato sandwich," we Americans are so addicted to them.-- barbara

JJ Roa Rodriguez said...

Yummy! Love tomatoes...

JJRod'z

Jill said...

Yummmmm....

jennyfreckles said...

My, your homestead looks so full of activity at the moment - I reckon you deserve a gooey tomato sandwich.

Deanna said...

I love new recipes and can't wait to make mayo. My kids grew up on mayonaise sandwiches during the summer. Being a school teacher, their daddy stayed home with them while I was at work each day. He wasn't much on stopping to fix lunches, so their compromise was to spread mayon on bread. Somehow they survived us.

NCmountainwoman said...

It's always Duke's or homemade on the tomato sandwiches here. We use light Miracle Whip for other sandwiches, but a fresh tomato sandwich demands Duke's. Hellman's is very good, but only if you haven't any Duke's.

My homemade recipe is the same as Elizabeth's except for the cayenne. I'm going to try it that way.

Kath said...

Just fine. I had to go get a paper towel to sop up the drool. I love ripe tomatoes, dill pickle slices, and Vidalia onion slices on toasted pita. I had no idea i was missing on the juicy index. I will HAVE to correct this.

Louise said...

Mmmmmm, I think I know what I'm having for lunch tomorrow.

Merisi said...

Bon appetit,
Merisi
(a Hellman's girl)

Vicki Lane said...

I love the idea of tomato sandwiches as party food -- one would have to rein in the goop factor however, id deference to the party goers' nice clothes.

Today we had bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches -- another summer favorite.

Deanna, I've eaten a mayo sandwich or two in my life. Or what I used to call 'chicken sandwich without chicken' -- lettuce, mayo, salt, and pepper on white bread.

Tomatoes, dill pickle slice, and Vidalias on pita? Hmm, I may have to try that.

pat said...

White bread, Kraft or Hellmans...but you left out the BACON!!!
Sadly our tomatoes are just about done, while you are just getting a crop!...100 degrees daily doesn't fare to well for plants..

JJM said...

Tomato sandwiches with mayo, and a chiffonade of basil. Food of the gods. The very taste of high summer.

The only things that come close are watercress sandwiches, with butter, salt, and pepper; and radish sandwiches, with butter and salt -- but the radishes must be cut as close to translucently thin as possible and piled high.

Whole wheat preferable if store-boughten, pre-sliced, and plastic-bagged; white bread splendid as long as it's homemade or otherwise distinguished.

I can just taste those tomatoes, just from the photos, Vicki ... Thanks!--Mario

JJM said...

(Ooops, should have been more specific: if you're stuck with store-boughten bread from the regular bread aisle of the Mega-lo Mart, whole wheat is the way to go. Home-made bread of any kind is preferable, including white. I cannot now understand why I insisted on the Wonderbread type of bread when I was a youngster ... probably I was just trying to "fit in" at the school lunch room.)

Miss_Yves said...

I could repeat Reader Wil 's Comment!

Vagabonde said...

I just realized that Blogger dropped your blog from my reader list – don’t know why and I am not sure if other blogs have been taken off my list. I read your updates. I like the “'Teamwork is a lot of people doing what I say.' (Marketing executive, Citrix Corporation)” that could have been a quote from my ex-boss.
The High Falls and Triple Falls are really beautiful – what a wonderful effort so that all people may keep seeing it. Your tomatoes look so yummy.
I never had a tomato sandwich until I came to Georgia. A lady at work would bring many huge and juicy tomatoes and the whole department would have tomato sandwich lunches. Unfortunately we don’t grow tomato in the shade so I have not had a sandwich like this since I retired. Looking at yours makes my mouth water.