July was miserable. There is no other way to put it. It was hot. It was humid. And it was mostly intolerable.
The only thing that made it all better was the glut of fruits and vegetables that was available at the markets. From the deep red colors of the ripe strawberries to the orange flush on peaches, it was all so gorgeous. Really, it was all I could eat. I found myself reaching for fruits to cool me down because I got tired of sipping water.
There is nothing I have loved more this summer than strawberries and tomatoes. I find myself reaching for these two fruits because they are just so easy to eat. Tomatoes, in particular, have been a year-long obsession for me. I have eaten tomatoes roasted and preserved in oil this winter. Now, I am visiting multiple stores to get the perfect tomato for each kind of salad I have in mind to make.
These tiny tomatoes were a delight to find at Wegman’s. Looking at the petite and perfectly round balls of flavor reminded me of the tomatoes that used to sprout at my aunt’s compound in Ibadan. Nobody could quite explain why the tomatoes grew so miniature in size. Nobody complained because those tiny tomatoes had the zing of a concentrated juice and the sweetness of simple syrup. Egg omelets were made better because the cooked whole tomatoes would explode in the folds creating pockets of tanginess.
I have gone real simple with the tomatoes this time. I just don’t have the heart to use my stove just yet. Even though it has cooled considerably since August made it debut, the memories of those long hot July days and nights has me clinging to the coolness of my kitchen.