What I’m about to tell you is top-secret gossip: Not many people know this, but Preston was far more enamored with me than I was with him when we began dating. Don’t be alarmed — since then the tables have turned and I’ve turned into one of those sappy love-you-forever kind of girls. But initially I wasn’t too impressed. It wasn’t his fault — I’ve had run-ins with too many weirdos, losers, and overall boring guys. But it also didn’t help that on our first date he took me to a sub-par Mexican restaurant in his small town (did I mention he thought I was Mexican?) where we made awkward conversation for thirty minutes and twiddled our thumbs.
But then, he brought me back to his house to watch Pulp Fiction. And as we drove into the driveway, I noticed something out of the corner of my eye: a row of tomato plants. Tomatoes, round and shiny like huge marbles, drooped off of green stalks, and my mouth watered. And from then on, I knew that this was the man I was going to be with for the rest of forever (regardless of ethnicity confusion). I was immediately head-over-heels.
Okay, so maybe things didn’t happen exactly like that. But I do lose all my dignity when I see a homegrown tomato. There is no storebought tomato that is anywhere near as juicy, gorgeous, or flavorful as one grown in someone’s garden — free of chemicals to force them to ripen, rides on ships from halfway across the world, and pesticides. Maybe I started dating Preston for reasons not tomato-related, but I do shamelessly beg for tomatoes from anyone who has a plant in the summer, including but not limited to my parents, Preston’s parents, and once my ex-boyfriend’s brother’s ex-girlfriend’s parents. (Judge not lest ye be judged.)
Anywho, the other day my parents gave me an abundance of tomatoes. They were the shape of grape tomatoes but slightly bigger, kind of like really small roma tomatoes. After eating them raw for a while, I decided to try something new. The following photo essay is titled “Roasting Tomatoes by Cutting Them in Half, Placing Them on a Parchment-Lined Pan, Lightly Drizzling Olive Oil Over Them, Seasoning Half with Rosemary and Thyme and Half with Very Light Salt and Pepper, and Putting Them in a 225 Oven for Three Hours, and By The Way, I Preferred the Ones with Only Salt and Pepper.” The closest thing you can get to making sundried tomatoes at home.