[photos by Mary Doug]
Have you ever wondered what to do with cherry tomatoes? You know how you can buy three of the red mesh bags filled with 18-20 cherry tomatoes for $5. A few weeks ago, I’d picked up some fresh fruit and veggies (including the great cherry tomato deal). I’d unpacked them and left them on the counter while we went out for an hour or so. A while later, we arrived home and opened the front door to the most amazing sight! There were cherry tomatoes … say 60 or so … ALL OVER THE FLOOR! They were absolutely beautiful! Arranged in such a carefree manner … some partially mashed and some in pristine condition as if they’d just been plucked from the vine. And … artistically tossed into the middle were the red mesh bags all torn open to facilitate the escape of the tomatoes.
I bent down and picked up a handful. I held them in front of Freckle who was standing at the door looking a wee bit less than her usual enthusiastic and wiggly self. You could almost hear her thinking, “Hmmm… it seemed like a good idea at the time.”
I said, “Freckle, what is this?” pushing the handful of tomatoes in front of her. She gave me a very serious look with big brown eyes. I think I heard her say, “Wow. Where did those come from?” … but I”m not sure. In an attempt to make light of the situation, Freckle began to bat a few tomatoes around again as Mary Doug and I started to clean them up. That idea was met with a stern “FRECKLE!” She stopped immediately and looked terribly remorseful again.
So, we collected all visible tomatoes and put aside the ones that survived unscathed. By this time we were able to laugh at the thought of our livingroom and dining room filled with cherry tomatoes. We scrubbed off the streaks of dirt on the edge of the counter where it was evident that Freckle had leaned in to pull the mesh bags down and vowed that we must be cautious about what we left within reach in future. Never a dull moment!
The next day, I found tomato seeds splashed across the TV screen. Two days later, we found Freckle and Ceilidh trying to retrieve something from under a cabinet. Yep … it was a cherry tomato–one of the pristine ones. A week after that, Freckle found another tomato in the corner of the dining room. And just a few days ago (several weeks after the tomato fiasco), I found yet another cherry tomato while vacuuming! What would we do without these creatures?