Certain things invariably mark the changing seasons. In my mind, spring is officially and summer has begun when temperatures crest 90 degrees, creole tomatoes are ripe enough to eat, and the first tropical weather reports appear on local media. (Indeed, we have a tropical weather report already: TS Barbara is technically a Pacific storm, but it shows distinct potential to enter the Gulf of Mexico.) Usually, higher temps and backyard tomatoes appear in early to mid-May, but an exceptionally long, cool spring pushed both back to late May.
I celebrated the start of tomato season by eating the first ripe, homegrown fruit simply sliced and sprinkled with sea salt. Then I followed up with a BLT. Unbearable heat and humidity are on the way, but at least we’ll have “real” tomatoes.
Sadly, I think my homegrown tomato season will be brief: cool, wet weather led to a terrible outbreak of late blight in my garden. Thanks to the late blight (the same fungus-like organism responsible for the Irish Potato Famines), the tomato plants probably will be dead by mid-June. Fleeting pleasures are often the sweetest….