MIAGD: A Salute to Tomatoes

MIAGD: Make it a great day

I’ve never been a true fan of tomatoes.  Never.

I do, however, love ketchup, salsa, marinara, sauces, and other tomato products, but fresh tomatoes have never been a part of my diet if I can help it.  Tomato slices wedged between the meat and buns/bread of a sandwich are happily handed over to others or tossed away.

Growing up in one of the tomato capitals of the world was not a motivator even when, during a week or two each August, the spices were added to the cooking tomatoes and the thick, delicious smell blanketed the entire town.

When I was growing up in Elwood, Indiana there were multiple tomato canning factories, Fettig’s, being one of the leaders at that time.  Elwood even held an annual tomato festival for many years, and my family talked about those events for many years afterward, as well as the Glass Festival and Willkie Day when hometown boy, Wendell L. Willkie returned to Elwood to accept the 1940 Republican nomination for president.

My mother’s family, especially the Barmes clan, loved their tomatoes.  Everything seemed to be “red” on that side of the family: hair and tomatoes!

My red-headed great aunt, Norma, always joked “you cannot be a Barmes and not like tomatoes.”  Since I was only 1/2 Barmes I felt I was good to go.

My grandfather, Leroy “Red” Barmes, would be in the garden, reach down to pluck a tomato off the vine, wipe it off with his shirttail, and eat it like he was chomping into an apple.  Grandpa Leroy did pass on to me his great love for dill pickles!

downloadI’ve always been a supporter of Red Gold tomato products since they are headquartered in my hometown.  I love the fact that Kings Island used Red Gold and proudly advertises the fact.

This summer a student’s parent brought me fresh garden vegetables nearly every week.

Nicole is one of those with cooking ideas and great knowledge in other areas I trust wholly.  I have diffusers and essential oils that have helped greatly in the studio for focusing and lavender for my bedroom to nudge me into sleep.  In July Nicole brought me some of the first fresh tomatoes off the vine and I knew that if Nicole brought me tomatoes I must need them.  This summer I was not in a salsa mood and I was fresh out of ideas as to what to do with the tomato offerings.


I branched out.  I made pasta salads and included fresh tomatoes; score!  I made stews and soups and included fresh chopped tomatoes. Score!

The tomatoes are being used, much to my surprise, and I am actually loving them.  I never see myself pulling one off the vine to eat, but I’ve made great progress just including tomatoes in my meals.

Oh, and yesterday I bought some pickled beats from the Mediterranean deli bar at Kroger!  Interesting taste, but it could become an acquired item.

It’s been a life-long journey with tomatoes.  Thank you, Nicole, for the nudge over to The Red Side.

Make it a great day, and add Red Gold ketchup to your fries!


About Wright Flyer Guy

Darin is a single adoptive father, a teacher, playwright, and musical theatre director from Kettering, Ohio.
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