Thursday, July 28, 2005

If I am served another heirloom tomato dish I shall quite simply die.

There is no more succinct way to put it: I am absolutely sick to death of heirloom tomatoes and basil. Téodor, bless his intentions, is so in tune with seasonal cookery that he is blinded to the notion of satiety in these items. Night after endless night we are waylaid with salted tomato atop grilled bread, tomato-basil risotto, caprese salad, stuffed roasted tomatoes, gazpacho, pizza margherita, pico de gallo, capellini pomodoro...the combinations are as interminable as they are ruinous to the digestion. With all this acidity, each meal has become a separate and nuanced session of torture, followed by a delicately administered regimen of Maalox, soda water, and anxiety. Will I be able to sleep? Will I awaken in the dark, a fire raging against the back of my throat? Will the bands of steel tighten around my chest as the sweat beads on my forehead? Will tomato season never end?

As you can see, I am up rather late this evening, afraid to slide between the sheets. Tonight's meal of bucatini in sugo crudo (pureéd raw tomato/basil/garlic sauce), with an antipasto of pickled sardines, mint and peppers, has me dreading the transition from upright to horizontal. I'm off now to see if there isn't anything on television. With my luck, the cable will be out and the only available programming will be a snowy episode of Emeril Lagasse poaching tomatoes in vinegar and baking soda.