Monday, September 28, 2009

The traditional meal to break the fast at the end of Yom Kippur consists of lighter foods, mostly dairy or egg dishes, and something sweet to start a sweet New Year. Our dinner tonight was quite simple -roast chicken, tabouleh and pita, a layered vegetable tian featuring Japanese eggplant and yellow squash from the garden. And, oh yes, a platter of thick slices of homegrown tomatoes and Armenian cucumbers.

On the platter were slices of Pineapple, my all time favorite tomato, Orange Strawberry which we've enjoyed a lot lately, and Reisenstraub - a mild, deep pink heart shaped tomato that's new to my garden this year. Reisenstraub hasn't produced many tomatoes but the one that I picked today was picture perfect and quite tasty. If it hadn't been alongside Pineapple, sweet and mellow and Orange Strawberry, a dense, sweet tasting tomato that leaves a tiny little tingle lingering on your tongue, it might have been named today's favorite. But honestly, with this kind of competition it didn't have a chance!

Strangely enough, it was the Orange Strawberry that was so delicious it got the Wow! out of me tonight. As a result, Orange Strawberry is today's favorite tomato.

I'm going to guess that for most families a platter of tomatoes isn't a holiday tradition, much less a topic of conversation at the holiday table. For us, it's both...something that we all enjoy and cherish because fostering each other's passions is as important to each of us as our own. So, we begin the New Year with sweet tasting tomatoes, a reminder of the sweetness of friends and family, with us tonight and those far away. Sometimes the sweetness is well within reach and sometimes it's a stretch, but always there if you allow yourself to see it.

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