Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Orange Tomatoes

My mother's sister, Aunt Florence, and her husband, Uncle Alec lived in Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey. Not nearly as romantic or picturesque a place as its name implies. Uncle Alec was one of the first soldiers who freed the prisoners from the concentration camp where lampshades were made from human skin. He remained an injured veteran of WWII for the rest of his life. He left their small Variety Store daily, to walk the half a block to the tiny railroad station to pick up their delivery of newspapers and magazines. That was it!!

We used to visit them 4 to 6 times a year - driving up the New Jersey Turnpike, getting off at Exit 8, Hightstown, and wending our way through the small New Jersey towns. We never went the same way twice and one time, we saw 2 young boys, manning a card table with two or three mounds of tomatoes, corn, and peppers. We stopped. The boys told us that the produce came from their own home garden. We were suckers. We stopped and bought tomatoes - red, yellow, and orange. I'm sure we bought peppers and corn too but I don't remembeer them at all. The only taste and color I remember was the orange tomatoes.

Every year, we plant tomatoes and peppers and every year we have a very nice supply of different sized tomatoes - from the little grape tomatoes through the juicy and large beefsteaks. But they have always been red. This year, and I don't know how, we have orange tomatoes. And they have the same taste, smell, and color as the orange tomatoes that I remember from one of our trips to Atlantic Highlands.

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