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2015-old-farmers-almanacThe weather has been so screwy this summer in Maryland—only a couple days over 90 when usually we have weeks and weeks of stifling heat. This year, tons of rain, and green pastures through August. Who’s complaining? Rumor has it that a cool, wet summer is indicative of a hard, snowy winter. I can only hope for as much. I love bad weather. Bring on the downpours, hurricanes, tornadoes, snowstorms, floods (well, maybe not ice storms). Time to hunker down inside, open or close the windows, listen to the rain, light a fire, snuggle up with your dog or your mate, turn out the lights, don’t go to school or to work or out on the roads. Don’t worry about work, only about the enjoyment of survival. It’s a spontaneous holiday, mandated by natural disaster. That is, unless you keep horses for a living.

Our unusual summer weather has not adversely affected our little garden’s tomato production. In fact, we’ve never grown tomatoes so fat and juicy and round and perfect. So delicious, we have been eating them like apples. No dressing or utensils needed. But if you prefer, you can cut them up and you may as well be carving tuna sushi, with nearly the same, firm, succulent texture when biting into its deep red flesh.

My daughter in law, Mollie, sends a gazpacho recipe from southern California wtomato_plantshere she lives with my son and enjoys everything shipped into their desert-like climate, including their water supply. No rainy summer there, but still, they are able to get their hands on the best produce from parts north and south. We are eager for more tomato recipes. Who can let so much delicious beauty go to waste?—always a gardener’s dilemma. Hurry up and eat, can, freeze, give away, before the tomatoes, corn, apples, strawberries, lettuces, peppers, zucchinis go bad. So Mollie offers us Gazpacho topped with bacon, avocado and lettuce.

BLT in a Bowl

Makes two large servings.

– 1.5 lbs heirloom tomatoes
– 1 clove garlic, chopped
– 1 cucumber, peeled
– 5 slices bacon, cooked crisp and chopped
– 1 avocado, sliced
– 1 cup chopped lettuce
– Salt and pepper to taste
– Lemon juice to taste

Put tomatoes, garlic and cucumber in a blender/food processor and blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Chill for 1 – 2 hours. Pour into two large bowls and top with avocado, chopped bacon and chopped lettuce. Squeeze lemon on top and enjoy!

When I asked her for a comment, this is what she wrote to me via text: The main thing is how we all live so far apart and food is so important that we all still talk about what’s for dinner! I send my mom photos of dinner all the time. Her mom used to call every night and ask what’s for dinner.

I guess pictures and recipe exchanging are alternative ways to share a meal. And yes, California is a long way away from Maryland. More recently Mollie texted me: Come visit us! The weather is perfect!

It depends on what you mean by perfect. Last night, Barrett and I woke to torrential rains pummeling our tin roof. We opened our windows wider, lay back down, sighed deeply, and listened.

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