Best of 2012: Posts!

From all of us at The Glorified Tomato, we wish you a happy and bountiful New Year!

It was difficult to choose the top 10 best posts of 2012. We had so many wonderful accounts written by Fran, Mary, Susanne, Constantina, Katie, Clare, Flo and Maureen. It’s contributions like these that define what The Tomato is all about and acts as a reminder of how much I love what we’re doing here on the blog. These are really special…

(No particular order)

1. The comfort of food – Fran
“We have all seen the movies when a character dies and people come to pay their respects with plates of food. This week, I am reminded of how that fit into my life 25 years ago when my father died. I had spoken to him early in the morning, like always. By afternoon he was gone. When I heard the news, first I cried. Then I set out to work. I was home with my two little girls, too young to understand why mommy rushed to the store with them and shopped.  It was not our usual supermarket, and all I bought were containers of Polly-o ricotta and mozzarella.”

2. Fishing with Dad – Katie
“But there is no gift better than the gift of time, so I took my dad out for a day on one of the fishing boats out of Sheepshead Bay. From 9-4 we set out on the wild sea — mainly off the tip of Breezy Point, the Narrows and the Coney Island flats — to catch our dinner.”

3. Fannie’s Rose – Constantina
“Many years ago, when I was growing up in the Gravesend section of Brooklyn, we had a small garden behind our house. It was just a small strip of dirt about 2 feet wide by 15 feet long. When I was a teenager in the mid 60’s my mother bought 3 small rose bushes – one red, one white and one pink – to plant in her small garden.  The pink rose bush was my favorite. Some 45 years later roses still bloom on that rose bush…”

4. The Day We Made Eggplant Parmesan in Turkey – Susie
“…Paula, Gokce and I stood in a grocery store, rubbing our chins. Turns out things that we take for granted as cooking staples back in NYC, such as “bread crumbs” and “mozzarella cheese” are a little difficult to come by in Turkey?”

5. Grandma – Paula
“Grandma showed her love and kindness in many ways, one of which was cooking for her family. Sunday dinners in Bellerose after morning mass was a ritual.  Grandma and Grandpa always spoiled us. Ice cream at Carvel, candy, lots of food and money! Grandpa would pull the kids aside and give us 5 or 10 bucks.  ”Don’t tell your grandmother” he would say.  Then (usually after the table was cleared) Grandma would pull us over and hand out twenties. We called Grandma moneybags!! She would whisper: “And don’t tell your Grandfather!!” Sundays were the best…”

6. Jarring Tomatoes – Harvest Season – Mary
“It’s always a little sad when Labor Day rolls around and the summer evenings turn cool and begin to hint at winter’s arrival. However, one of my favorite things about the beginning of fall is the beautiful plum tomato harvest. This year I jarred (canned) 150 pounds of tomatoes, which yielded forty quarts of fresh tomato sauce. It is a long process, but if you enjoy cooking and working with fresh ingredients, it is a very satisfying way to spend a day.”

7. The Waters Better in Brooklyn – Fran
“My family lived from 1948 to 1959 in a small apartment in Ozone Park, Queens, just off Liberty Avenue. My mother was from Brooklyn and was not as comfortable living in Queens, where my father was from. The food stores were different. It was more difficult to get around. Her family was far — well, reasonably far — from her now, and it just wasn’t the same. Queens wasn’t Brooklyn, and that’s what mattered to her. And what she liked least about our place was the water, which was then very different between the boroughs.”

8. Trip to Spain with my ROMEO – Clare
“ROMEO is a terminology I learned from my long time friend, Mike Honan. Mike coined the term ROMEO to refer to “Retired Old Men Eating Out” (note: that may be a completely false statement that he coined it, but I am going to give him the credit anyways). I always get the term mixed up and say its “Really Old Men Eating Out”. In the latter interpretation, my father Jerry has been doing that for years!”

9. Sandwiches and Cream Puffs: A “Football” Wedding – Fran
“They didn’t have a fancy wedding in some gilded catering hall. Things were different then. In 1948 my parent had what was called a “football wedding,” which was common after World War II.”

10. Meal’s ready to eat, and thoughts on survivalism – Susie
“In my mother’s house in Breezy Point, we thought we were pretty prepared for disaster. First aid kits, bottled water, canned food, camping gear, even desalinators, all part of our disaster survival kit. And then we stored them IN THE BASEMENT! Needless to say, we were prepared for the wrong disaster.”


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