This is the time of year when the oppressive summer heat is relieved by nature’s bounty of peaches, blueberries, watermelons and, especially, tomatoes.
Those big juicy red home-grown babies are an entirely different tomato from the tasteless store-bought ones available the rest of the year.
And the best way to eat a ripe home-grown tomato is in a tomato sandwich.
This is the only time of year I get the gooey white bread we used to eat when I was a kid. Normally I buy hefty whole-grain loaves, full of twigs and seeds and healthy fiber.
But for a proper tomato sandwich you need cheap soft bread, heavily slathered with mayo. Place thick slices of tomato on the bread, add salt and a little pepper, and dive in, ignoring the juice as it drips down your arms to your elbows.
Phoebe Thompson knows what I’m talking about:
“As I was making that wonderful delight of a tomato sandwich for dinner one evening, I thought about my sister-in-law from Frogtown, south of Baton Rouge, who provided day care to my children.
“When she answered the phone, I would ask what they were having for lunch and she would say, ’Mater sanriches.’
“I knew how good those tomato sandwiches would be.”
Ernie Gremillion says our story about putting an S&H Green Stamp over a malfunctioning red alternator light reminds him of this story:
“I was using a mechanic who, shall we say, was not too reliable.
“I brought my car to him with the red trouble light on.
“When I picked it up after I was told it had been repaired, I asked what the problem was.
“He informed me that he couldn’t find any problem, so he just cut the wire to the light.
“I remarked that I was glad he wasn’t my doctor.”
Pam Strickland says, “While I was in Nashville in April to attend Grandparents’ Day, I met the priest who visits the children in their classrooms.
“When I introduced myself as Stevie’s grandmother, Father told me a story about him.
“He said, ‘I was visiting his first-grade classroom and asked them to pray for one of the nuns who was having her appendix removed.’
“The priest asked if anyone knew what an appendix was. Stevie raised his hand and said, very sure of himself, ‘It’s the part at the back of the book.’ ”
Scouting for dinner
On Monday, customers can present a Girl Scout flyer to Texas Roadhouse from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. to have the restaurant donate a percentage of the sale to the Scouts.
The flyer can be found at http://www.gsle.org or at Girl Scout Council offices in Baton Rouge or New Orleans.
Special People Dept.
Lena Dias celebrates her 92nd birthday Friday.
Woodrow “Woody” Mansur celebrates his 90th birthday Friday. He and his brother Thomas ran C.C. Fish Market on Europe Street for more than 50 years. He now works with his family at Beauregard Gallery & Bistro at that site. Cake and punch will be served there from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday.
George Massi Jr. and Julie Frederich Massi celebrate 70 years of marriage Friday. Originally from Convent, they now live in Lowell, Ind.
Audrey and Lloyd Schroeder celebrate their 65th anniversary Saturday.
Lena and John Roshto celebrated their 65th anniversary Thursday.
Pete and Pat Galik celebrate their 53rd anniversary on Friday.
Conrad and Beverly Joffrion celebrate their 50th anniversary Saturday.
Reggie Gremillion disagrees with Robby Zeringue’s recent statement that 3 p.m. is either too early or too late to do anything.
Reggie says 3 p.m. is “the perfect time to take a nap.”
Steve Peper, “a Tiger fan living in Iowa,” says our mention of prestige license plates “reminds me of a bumper sticker I saw on a powder-blue Prius.
“It read, ‘Yes, It has a Hemi.’ ”
And Dudley Lehew says when he lived in Massachusetts he so enjoyed the Charlton Heston movie “El Cid,” about an 11th Century Spanish hero, that he put a personalized license tag on his station wagon reading “El Dud.”
The reactions of his fellow motorists indicated they did not regard him as a 20th Century American hero.
Spoils of war
The above-mentioned Dudley says, “By the way, my favorite personalized tag of all time was on the back of a Mercedes convertible being driven by a woman: ‘WAS HIS.’ ”