Here we are at the end of August, traditionally one of Maine’s most beautiful months. Time was when the weather was hot—around 80°F—and dry during the day, yet cool enough for blankets at night. It seems this era has passed, and now we veer between a humid 100°F heat followed by a forty degree drop to 60°F. So disorienting, especially to an old timer like me who remembers how sweet August once was in northern New England. It fills me with such sadness to think that those days are probably gone for good, that future generations of Mainers will never know the glories of a Maine August when the weather was nearly perfect.
Fortunately, despite the unwelcome change in the weather, tomatoes still ripen in August in Maine. In my yard by the edge of the woods, I only get six hours of sun at most during the summer. But I have found a variety of tomatoes—Juliet—that actually grows well in part sun/part shade.
Here they are on the vine.
And here are these gems in a bowl.
Juliet is a grape tomato, firm yet sweet and tart, perfect for many uses—sauces, salads, on their own as a side, and, especially, for tomato sandwiches.
Southern readers would probably cry foul if I claimed tomato sandwiches were a Maine speciality. Therefore, I won’t do that. However, old-time Mainers are as keen on tomato sandwiches as they are, say, on blueberry pie or corn on the cob. Tomato sandwiches are definitely a thing in Maine in August and September.
Simplicity in itself, tomato sandwiches consist of three ingredients, garden-fresh tomatoes, bread, and mayonnaise. All right, there is a fourth ingredient if you are so inclined—salt.
Some folks like white bread, untoasted. I am not one of them. I want a good whole-grain bread, and I want it to be toasted, thank you very much.
As I was making this sandwich, Clif asked if I wanted lettuce on it, too. I gave him a pitying look that indicated he should know better. After all, Clif is from Maine. But alas he does not like raw tomatoes and is thus unfamiliar with the protocol of a proper tomato sandwich.
Clif tried to defend himself. “You would have lettuce on a BLT.”
Yes, you would, but a tomato sandwich is not a BLT, and Clif received another pitying look.
With tomato sandwiches, you have a perfect combination of crunch, sweet, tart, smooth, and salt. With such deliciousness, I can almost forgive the high heat and humidity that is now August in Maine.
Nifty Posts from Some of the Lovely Blogs I Follow:
Michele, of Rabbit Patch Diary, writes movingly of her eldest granddaughter starting school and other big changes.
In Change is Hard, Dawn finds beauty close to home, despite Covid, a hurricane, and other shattering events in this country.
On Etikser, rain provides the windows with a dreamy palette.
On Thistles and Kiwi, small pleasures—food and flowers—are still to be had, despite the uptick in Covid cases in New Zealand.
Ju-Lyn, of Touring My Backyard, is inspired by a trio of seventy-year-old men.