When I was a little girl, my grandmother had a big tomato patch in her backyard.  That is what she called it, I imagine because she grew up on a farm in Missouri.  Looking back now, I realize that what she called her backyard was probably more like an acre of land. The plants were arranged in rows and columns, making a nice, neat rectangular pattern.  All she grew were tomatoes.  As a child peering into the patch, it looked more like a dense forest of stems and leaves than a garden plot. My grandmother would send me into the middle of it (where she couldn’t easily reach) to pick the ripe tomatoes.  I am sure I disappeared from view once I was in the middle.  Eventually, I would emerge with an arm full of juicy, ripe tomatoes.  We would fill the old, large mixing bowl and then head inside to the kitchen. There she would make us tomato sandwiches for lunch.

If you haven’t tasted a juicy, ripe tomato picked fresh from the garden or had a tomato sandwich made from them…you are missing out.  Until I was a young adult, I didn’t realize a home grown and a store bought tomato could taste so different.  But they do!  Besides picking them from your own personal garden, delicious, home grown tomatoes can be found at the local farmers market.   Pick some up, you won’t be disappointed.  Here is a super, simple recipe for making a tomato sandwich (like my grandma made for her grand kids – back in the day).

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Making a Vintage Tomato Sandwich

  • Toast two slices of bread (toasting is not necessary)
  • Slice a ripe tomato into thin slices
  • Generously spread mayonnaise onto the toasted bread
  • Then layer the tomatoes on top of the mayonnaise (sprinkle with salt if desired)

Today I might add slices of avocado and a variety of lettuce or spinach leaves. But that is not how we ate them, decades ago, in my grandma’s kitchen.  Yum!

Did you eat tomato sandwiches growing up?

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