I hate raw tomatoes. Always have.
And I hate it that I hate tomatoes because it’s made my life so complicated. I mean, what vegan doesn’t like raw tomatoes?
When I’m at a restaurant I always look at the salads first. I love salads. By the way, have you ever noticed how nearly all featured salads come with meat? I find that kind of odd. But anyway, this is me ordering a salad at a restaurant:
Waitress: May I take your order?
Marly: Sure, but I hope you know what you’re asking for here. (I try to inject some humor before going into my “When Harry Met Sally” list of requests. At least I won’t feel so bad when her eyes begin to roll to the back of her head).
Waitress: Oh, sure, I’ve seen it all.
Marly: OK. Here we go. I’d like the “Grilled Chicken Chopped Salad” (Does that surprise you? Don’t worry, keep on reading)…without chicken and without cheese. And could I have the dressing on the side? (I like to pretend as if I won’t use all the salad dressing, but I always do.) Oh, and please, NO tomatoes.
Waitress: So you want lettuce in a bowl with the dressing on the side?
Marly: Doesn’t it come with spiced pecans too? Could I get extra of those?
Waitress: Uh, sure. I bet I could get you some extra pecans for your bowl of lettuce.
Marly: Great! Oh, and I’d like an iced tea too (I have a serious thing for iced tea!)
Invariably, what I receive is a salad with tomatoes. It’s as if the cook looked at the order, saw the request for “no meat” and realized this patron was a vegetarian. Then saw the note indicating “no cheese” and concluded this patron was probably a vegan. The next logical conclusion would be that the next note, the one saying “no tomatoes” must be in error. What vegan doesn’t like tomatoes?
So I look over my salad with tomatoes and apologize to the waitress for sending it back. I hate being so picky. But I hate raw tomatoes even more.
And do you know happens next?
The waitress takes the salad away and after a few minutes brings it back. It’s painfully obvious that the cook simply scraped off the tomatoes. Do you know what that leaves behind? That gelatinous mass of seeds. It’s like the entrails of the tomato. The part I hate the most!
You know what they say is true, misery loves company. So I haven’t been too terribly sad that I passed on my distaste for raw tomatoes to my daughter. It’s not like I wanted to but it’s been kind of convenient that we both shared this aversion to raw tomatoes.
At least until one day recently when my daughter told me, rather sheepishly, that she tried tomatoes again and that she liked them.
I was in shock.
How could she do this to me? Didn’t she know that having both of us hate tomatoes was so perfect. You know, like maybe it was some kind of DNA thing. I could imagine myself saying to people, “I can’t really help that I don’t like tomatoes, it’s this pesky genetic problem I’ve got. My daughter has it too.”
Of course, now I realize I was living in a false reality because my mom loves tomatoes. Every time I moan about hating tomatoes my mom says, “Oh, I LOVE tomatoes. I can just sprinkle a little salt on it and eat it like an apple.”
Thanks for sharing, Mom. I’m really happy for you.
I thought I had tried every approach to get myself to like tomatoes, but it actually was my daughter who made the difference.
If this wonderful person who I carried in my womb can like tomatoes, then why can’t I?
So this summer, I decided to make another go with raw tomatoes. First I tried little slices of it on our 7 Layer Dip.
When it was cleverly disguised by lots of other ingredients, I could tolerate them. This was progress.
Now I’ve been slipping slivers, slices and dices of raw tomatoes into more and more of my meals. I’ve even had them on salads.
And I grew a couple of them in my garden (thanks to my hubby for building a chicken-wire fence to keep the squirrels out).
I can’t say I love tomatoes.
But I don’t hate them anymore. And that’s all I have say about that!